At 18 years old, New Yorker Mark Bao is a successful serial technology entrepreneur and philanthropist. The teen prodigy has sold three web companies, two of which Bao states were ''highly profitable.''
One garnered a quarter of a million subscribed users within three weeks of its launch. Bao has also started two nonprofit foundations.
His past ventures, all self-funded, included the viral hit, threewords.me, a social media site where visitors describe their friends' personalities in three words, Atomplan, a small business management tool, and Facebook Idol, an ''American Idol''-like competition app.
''I've always been interested in technology and how it can make a difference,'' said Bao. ''Entrepreneurial action creates change.''
His newest self-funded startup, Supportbreeze, is a customer service platform that helps businesses manage their support inquiries. The service dramatically cuts down on response time and manpower, said Bao.
''I needed a really good customer service application for my other startups, which led to the creation of Supportbreeze,'' he said.
These days, Bao can be found splitting his time between building up Supportbreeze, attending college classes, and assisting his pals at the New York City startup, Onswipe, a tablet publishing platform that enables content publishers to beautifully display their media and advertising on touch devices without any programming knowledge.
''When you're young, don't fear failing,'' he said. ''Whether you succeed or fail, the things you learn will be incredibly valuable for your future endeavors.''
While some spend years toiling with the dream of running their own business, others simply stumble into startup success. More
|Part-time jobs: America's hidden unemployment crisis|
|Federal agents arrest debt collectors in crackdown|
|The FedEx driver who sued and won|
|JetBlue will cut legroom, charge for checked bags|
|Fans cheer Bill Cosby at Florida performance|