As we enter the graduation season and send our young adults out into the world, we thought we’d share this story of a resourceful young businessman with our Worcester, Massachusetts, readers. As a recent high school grad, the 19-year-old put off college and accepted an internship at the AOL offices in California. He was part of a new initiative created to support entrepreneurship in the educational field.
His dream was a business creation that would use the Web to allow collaborative learning between teachers and students. He had $50,000 to make it work. Unfortunately, such limited venture capital funds don’t go very far when you also have to pay for food, rent and utilities. When the money ran out, instead of folding his dreams and going home, he squatted.
He squatted for two months at the AOL offices, avoiding building security. He kept his belongings in the gym locker room, worked out, showered and slept in the building. His meals consisted of meeting leftovers, ramen, Doritos and whatever else he could find. During his ruse he only spent $30 dollars, including his Thanksgiving meal splurge at Boston Market.
Since that time, the young entrepreneur has completed his business plan, launched the website and secured a half million dollars in funding. He attributes his success to being able to prove his tenacity and drive to investors. Our hats go off to him.
But, perhaps if he had used a competent business and commercial law attorney in the first place, he would not have had to go through such great lengths of stress and little sleep. An experienced advisor could have helped him spend and invest his startup funds in a more efficient and effective way.
Source: CNN, “Young entrepreneur squats at AOL office for 2 months to keep dream alive,” May 28, 2012