On the age of 17, Sukone Hong realized his entrepreneurial dream by constructing not one however two companies.
Olaga – the primary firm is a Korean trend model with him as CEO. Because the starting of the 12 months, Hong has collected 1 million USD in income. Hong’s second firm produces braille smartwatches for the blind. Presently, there are literally thousands of pre-orders for this product.
“Success is a approach to answer bullies. I used to have a tough time adjusting to high school and was bullied. So I discovered a option to change my life in a extra constructive route,” Hong informed CNBC. .
The 17-year-old CEO was even invited by Harvard and Stanford College to be a visitor speaker due to his success at a really younger age.
Hong began his entrepreneurial journey on the age of 13, when he was in eighth grade. As a result of he could not slot in together with his associates in Seoul, he needed to search out one thing else to give attention to, which was reselling designer garments on the web. Korean search engine Naver.
Hong’s preliminary meager $150 shortly “evaporated”. He realized he wanted to alter his technique and boldly borrowed $5,000 from his grandparents, partnering with a shirt printing enterprise to arrange a web site promoting unisex clothes with a easy, playful design. That was Olaga’s delivery.
“Nobody purchased within the first week. However one Monday morning, there have been 15 orders. By midday, it was 50, and by night, it had elevated to 80. In that week, I had offered 300 items. T-shirts,” Hong stated.
Enterprise isn’t just about being profitable
Since then, Hong’s 3-year-old model has develop into a regional success, reaching $1.2 million in annual gross sales in six Asian markets, rating #1 within the Fashion Share t-shirt class. high for these excited by on a regular basis trend and wonder.
The corporate’s development allowed Hong to rent 12 staff to deal with the work. And he additionally used a part of the cash he earned to pay again his mother and father’ tuition on the worldwide faculty in Seoul that he attended.
That is additionally the time when Hong got here up with an concept for a brand new enterprise.
“I used to suppose enterprise was simply to make some huge cash, however after transferring to a brand new faculty, I obtained a greater training. A trainer of mine stated that my enterprise expertise could possibly be used to create a brand new enterprise. an organization that helps others,” Hong stated.
Not lengthy after, Hong based Paradox Computer systems – the corporate behind braille smartwatches for the blind.
Braille smartwatches enable visually impaired individuals to obtain real-time data, similar to messages from their telephones. It has been in the marketplace for a number of years.
Nonetheless, the value is “exorbitant” – typically as much as 300 USD, making many visually impaired individuals unable to afford it. After engaged on a faculty challenge about individuals with disabilities, Hong realized their drawback and determined to provide a extra reasonably priced product.
He began researching the market, speaking to many visually impaired individuals to grasp their wants after which discussing with engineers to provide you with an answer. Then agreed to an funding supply of $300,000 in alternate for a 30% stake in Paradox Computer systems.
“Expertise as CEO has helped me. Despite the fact that I am not tech-savvy, I can nonetheless rent staff to create merchandise,” Hong stated.
Six months later, Paradox Computer systems’ $80 product had offered a whole lot of items. Presently, the corporate is processing 3,000 pre-orders from China.
Regardless of being profitable with each firms, Hong nonetheless desires to pursue an educational “profession”. “When the enterprise was rising quickly, I thought of dropping out. However I met plenty of CEOs and so they all stated that I ought to go to school.”
By Enterprise and Advertising