The sensation is running high with Yahoo! doling out nothing short of $30 million to fatten the piggy bank of a teen British-Australian tech inventor to purchase his invention. Nick D’ Aloisio has hit the front page of nearly every leading newspaper in the world for selling his app “Summly” to the multinational internet corporation. Besides wearing the hat of being the youngest entrepreneur to receive venture capital funding for technology development (he earned it at the age of 15!), Nick has again turned the spotlight onto young’uns who have gone that extra mile to turn into problem solvers.
Eleven-year-old Richie Stachowski was as excited as any his age when his parents opened the underwater world to him at Hawaii. The enthusiastic young lad wanted to share his view on every underwater creation that he saw during his snorkeling expedition with his father. But in vain, for he could hardly get a word out of his
mouth with ease. His frustration ended three months later when he built a prototype of an underwater megaphone. He mounted a standard snorkel mouthpiece onto the tip of a conical, plastic soccer-field boundary marker and improvised it to ensure water didn’t enter the mouth. He set up a company, Short Stack LLC, won his first order of 50,000 pieces from Toys “R” Us and Wal-Mart, K-Mart and other large chains followed suit, making Water Talkies a sensation in 1997.
Even as a fifth grader, Adam Cohen’s room looked more like an electronics laboratory, with award-winning innovations stacked all over. From inventing an alarm clock with a pre-recorded message to moving a computer cursor using eye movements, Adam has been riding high with his over 200 innovations and ideas. His most sought after patented invention is a nanoscale patterning technique using electrochemical scanning tunneling microscope (STM) resulting in an Electrochemical Paintbrush.
Her attention deficit disorder made her one of the youngest patent holders in the world at the age of 11! It all started when Kristin Hrabar’s teacher asked her to come up with an idea for the science fair at elementary school. “Just look around your house and the idea will come to you,” is what he told the nine-year-old. And she did the same. A week later, when Kristin was helping her father fix the clothes drier by holding onto a torchlight, the bulb flashed. She realized it would be easier if the tool had a light of its own and the third grader sat down to design the illuminated nut driver and by circa 2000 she had her first of a couple of patents.
With Summly now taking the world of technology by storm, young inventors are increasingly proving to the world that age doesn’t matter any more. You have the idea? Then just patent it!
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