30 Comments

Summary:

Dropping out of college to launch your own company? Yawn. The real startup action is in the halls of your local high school. Case in point: Daniel Brusilovsky, the 15-year-old founder and CEO (yes, the CEO) of TeensinTech.com. Brusilovsky was easy to spot at our recent […]

Dropping out of college to launch your own company? Yawn. The real startup action is in the halls of your local high school. Case in point: Daniel Brusilovsky, the 15-year-old founder and CEO (yes, the CEO) of TeensinTech.com.

Brusilovsky was easy to spot at our recent Structure 08 conference — he was the only one who needed his parents to pick him up from the event. But don’t let his age fool you; he’s got the executive lingo down pat. He’s raising his first round of funding, meeting with lawyers, and name-dropping the likes of Loic Le Meur and Robert Scoble (both of whom are on his board). Oh, and when he’s not CEO’ing, Brusilovsky is crashing industry events as an evangelist for mobile vidcasting service Qik.

So adept at startup-speak was Brusilovsky that my only surprise was that he didn’t mention who he’s in talks with to acquire his (not-quite existing) company or that he’s on the waiting list to buy a new Tesla (once he gets his driver’s license, that is).

Brusilovsky is similar to another teentrepreneur on the other side of the camera, 14-year-old Lucas Cruikshank, who’s high-pitched “Fred” videos not only dominate YouTube but have pulled in a five-figure sponsor.

Teens in Tech will be a community for kids who typically get kicked off other new media outlets for being too young to create and share their work. Brusilovsky was nice enough to chat for a few minutes at Structure about his company.

Get to know him now. After all, you could be working for him someday.

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By Chris Albrecht

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  1. Jackie Danicki Friday, June 27, 2008

    Daniel is one of the smartest, most connected people I know – of any age. He’s definitely one to watch.

  2. I’m not sure if his idea is a good one – specialized websites for certain age groups don’t compete well against the big guys. Also, I think he underestimates how much work “running” a community can be. Then again, he has a few people working for him, so who knows!

    He’s an eloquent talker, and he obviously is smart, how else would he have made Loic Le Meur and Robert Scoble joining his board? (Having Loic joining gives the business model/idea a lot more credibility, too.)

  3. Daniel Brusilovsky Friday, June 27, 2008

    Thank for writing this article on myself, and Teens in Tech. Sebastian — The reason I chose to go in the direction of teenagers, is because I know the struggles of finding the support and help of the teenage community. The main message of TeensinTech is for teens, by teens. Everyone who is currently helping out TeensinTech has gone through the struggles, and we want to help other teenagers.

    We may not reach out to the mass market like YouTube and other big brands, but in the end, what matters is that we are helping other teenagers succeed in their goals and dreams. It may sound cheesy, but its the truth.

    Thank you,

    Daniel Brusilovsky
    CEO and Founder, Teens in Tech
    http://www.teensintech.com

  4. Michael Sheehan Friday, June 27, 2008

    It was my pleasure to meet and be interviewed about GoGrid by Daniel at Structure08. Daniel is definitely a guy to watch in the coming years! He’s helping to trail blaze the way for a greater professional participation by teenagers in Social Media, Web 2.0 and what will follow. Giving teens a voice and a bit more power will help better prepare them for a even more media-rich society.

    Way to go Daniel!

    -Michael

  5. Daniel Brusilovsky Friday, June 27, 2008

    Daniel and Michael — thank you for your comments. I really appreciate it.

  6. In Houston, we have our own Teentrepreneur (love the term): Cory Levy. Cory is working on his own startup and recently did a guest blog post for my site, Startup Houston. In addition, Cory recently spoke at a local 3rd grade class about entrepreneurship and keeps correspondence with several of them (one of which is even launching his own startup). I think the trend is refreshing.

  7. Hmmm interesting

    Daniel seems like a nice guy but it’s hard to not think that he’s being manipulated by others to gain a bit of fame. While he’s friendly and all, it’ll be interesting to see if he’s actually got the goods of if all that we heard on the video was a carefully prepared script given to him by others. @daniel – keen to touch base with you and talk about where you are at – flick me an e

  8. Brusilovsky – Visionary or puppet? at diversity.net.nz Friday, June 27, 2008

    [...] came across an interview over on GigaOm with teen entrepreneur Daniel Brusilovsky. Seems Daniel is the 15 year old founder [...]

  9. I think that all of these big names like Loic, Scoble, and now GigaOM are focusing on one teen. What you have to realize is there are many teens who are much further than Daniel seems to be. I completely agree with Ben.

    Also, can’t anyone call themselves a CEO of a company that hasn’t started yet? I don’t really understand what Teens in Tech (shortform: TiT, nice thinking) actually does. IF youth were legally allowed to participate in these type of services, why don’t the top-notch services just update their Terms of Service?

    Getting back to TiT, Teens in Tech’s splash page looks awfully similar to something I’ve seen in the past. Same color scheme, same fonts, it seems like it is either a templated splash page that is publicly available or a stolen design. Who can’t make their own splash page?

    I don’t see Teens in Tech going anywhere, personally. I think more big names should focus on teens that aren’t necessarily based in San Francisco.

    Just my 2 cents.

  10. Chris Albrecht Saturday, June 28, 2008

    You know, whether or not this particular idea will take off I think is beside the point. Pimples, comic books and being rejected by girls at formal dances were the hallmark of my high school days. Brusilovsky’s got an idea and ambition to make that happen — but more importantly, in talking with him, he’s just a genuine, nice guy.

  11. Daniel Brusilovsky Saturday, June 28, 2008

    Chris,

    Thank you very much for those comments. I really appreciate it.

    Just to clear all the confusion, Teens in Tech is a company. We are still under development, and are launching in July of 2008. There are other teens who are bloggers, podcasters, and entrepreneurs, but Teens in Tech is focuses on the teens who want to start podcasting, blogging and experiencing new media. There are great services like WordPress, and Teen Media Productions that help you once you start, but Teens in Tech focusses on the very beginning.

    Second of all, I am not a puppet of Robert Scoble, Loic Le Meur, or any other Advisory Board member. The purpose of the Board of Advisors is to help me through my journey with Teens in Tech. This is my first start-up, so I know I will make mistakes, and thats why the Board is there, to help support me, and guide me into the right direction. The final decision will always be mine, but the Board is there to help me, and not tell me what to do.

    Teens in Tech doesn’t focus on teens who are only in San Francisco, Teens in Tech focuses on every teenager who wants to start podcasting, blogging, etc.

    @Josh Tabin: I actually know Cory, and we talk a lot about our start-ups, and stuff in general. This is what I am saying. Just because we are teenagers, and we have a number by our names, doesn’t mean that we can’t experience what anyone else is.

    I appreciate all the comments, and I hope this clears up any confusion.

    Thank you,

    Daniel Brusilovsky

  12. Jeremy Wright Saturday, June 28, 2008

    I’ve known Daniel for awhile, and he flat out rawks!

  13. Daniel Brusilovsky Saturday, June 28, 2008

    Thanks, Jeremy :) You rawk too!

  14. @Daniel Brusilovsky – I 100% agree.

    Muhammad Ali once stated: “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”

    Mark Cuban in an email to me stated: “Age isn’t an issue. You shouldn’t care whether people take you seriously or not. If you are prepared and know your subject matter and business, they will figure out you are for real.”

    I think it is great that more and more teens are trying to start their own companies. With the internet, we are capable of anything. ‘Can’t’ is not in our vocabulary!

  15. daniel is definitely a sharp guy & going places. i got the chance to meet him at a few tech events in silicon valley recently, including our own Startup2Startup dinner; brian solis snapped a picture of Daniel at my table.

    best of luck to you daniel, and all your [ad]ventures :)

  16. Daniel Brusilovsky Saturday, June 28, 2008

    Dave,

    I really enjoyed coming to Startup2Startup Dinner. Thank you for having me.

    Cory: Exactly! Can’t is not in our vocabulary!

  17. Daniel,

    When I stated San Francisco, I was referring to all of these big tech names like Scoble and GigaOM. They are focusing on a teen in San Francisco, because that’s where they’re based, while there might someone else somewhere else in the world. It seems only people in San Francisco can get tech coverage. I’d love to see some international reach.

    Good luck with Teens in Tech, Daniel, I’ll be looking out to see how it turns out in the end.

  18. Daniel Brusilovsky Saturday, June 28, 2008

    Hi James,

    I understand now. I was a little confused on what you were referencing to. I was very fortunate, and I don’t take this at all for granted on being interviewed by GigaOM. Living in the Silicon Valley is also very very fortunate. I think this is the best place in the world. If you look above, a friend of mine, Cory Levy was also mentioned. Cory is working on his own start-up. Just because I live in the Valley, doesn’t meant that there are other teens being covered. I was just in the right place, at the right time.

    I think in the end , what I am trying to say is, just because I live in the Valley, doesn’t mean only I get covered by publications like GigaOM. All you have to do is look around. The internet is a big place :)

    Take care, and have a great weekend,

    Daniel Brusilovsky
    CEO of Teens in Tech

  19. @Daniel

    I agree with James, coz here in India too, I have hear a lot of teens trying to startup but all they get is the “doors-closed-to-kids” reaction when there’s something important. Like… you’ve guys like Scobble on your side, but here we just can’t find such people ready to give a word or two to help out. Even if it happens, it happens only to those who are ‘lucky’. And there isn’t much of those resources too.

    And the mindset in the Bay Area is totally different.

  20. Daniel Brusilovsky Sunday, June 29, 2008

    Jax,

    When I first meet Robert Scoble, almost a year ago, it was only for brunch. Little did I know that he would take out all his camera gear, and want to interview me. I can honestly say, I did not expect that much attention. Same situation happened at Structure08. I was at the Mogulus booth, since Qik and Mogulus are partners, and I was just sitting around, doing nothing. I asked Chris if he knew if I could stay for the gathering afterward. He didn’t know the answer, so we just started talking. He later asked if he could interview me for either NewTeeVee or GigaOM, and I said yes.

    What I am trying to say is that I don’t take this for granted at all. I am so fortunate to get the kind of publicity that I am getting now, and Teens in Tech isn’t some kind of marketing scheme.

    I hope everyone understands,

    Daniel Brusilovsky.

  21. Daniel said, “the internet is a big place” – it certainly is. I wish more online tech blogs would also interview others from around the world, using one of the amazing technologies we are privileged to in this day in age, like Skype or iChat. Only interviewing people in the Silicon Valley, in-person, seems a bit old-school, if you ask me.

  22. Daniel Brusilovsky Wednesday, July 2, 2008

    James,

    Just because I live in the Valley doesn’t mean I am always getting interviewed. I know people in Texas, Washington, and all over the US and the world who are getting interviewed. It may not be on GigaOM, but they are getting interviewed.

    ~Daniel.

  23. ‘Teens In Tech’ Coming In July 2008 – Perverts Paradise? ~ The Blade by Ron Schenone, MVP Thursday, July 3, 2008

    [...] Source. [...]

  24. mark lipkin Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    I know Daniel, and even though I’ve lost touch with him for a while I’ve seen him at work and i think that he is the perfect guy for the job, and i wouldn’t be shocked if this company skyrockets.
    Good going Daniel!!!

  25. Kamla Bhatt Blog » Entrepreneur Interviews Ideas Internet and Telecom Interviews San Francisco Social Media Start-ups Technology Video Web 2.0 YouTube Videos » Video Interview: Teen Entrepreneur Daniel Brusilovsky Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    [...] met Daniel at the BlogHer conference and was intrigued by the amount of paraphernalia he was lugging around: [...]

  26. The Musings of an Aspiring Geek » This kid’s gone from impressive to amazing Sunday, August 10, 2008

    [...] Om Malik’s Interview [...]

  27. Shaping Youth » Teens in Tech Conference: Startups, Students & Hotshots Friday, February 6, 2009

    [...] Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing recently wrote a piece about this cultural phenom noting how “A list” individuals have quietly shifted gears away from all the ‘haters’ leaving TechMeme’s Leaderboard of top blogs as an ‘Elvis has left the building’ ghost town of corporate interests… I guess that’s why I wish I could deploy a magic media shield for 16-year old Daniel, his keynote speaker, Jessica Mah, (at left, visual via Ypulse) and other fresh faced teens eager to make their way in the world. [...]

  28. This 16-Year-Old Has 120,000 Twitter Followers, Brighter Future Than You [How Things Work] | Twitter News – Twimmer.com Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    [...] TechCrunch, he’s a writer who dabbles in events and business development. He’s also the young face of video-casting service Qik and CEO of his own TeensInTech.com. Oh, and he advises at least two other [...]

  29. This 16-Year-Old Has 120,000 Twitter Followers, Brighter Future Than You Thursday, November 5, 2009

    [...] TechCrunch, he’s a writer who dabbles in events and business development. He’s also the young face of video-casting service Qik and CEO of his own TeensInTech.com. Oh, and he advises at least two other [...]

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