Inside the Mind of a Young Entrepreneur

“I love the work that you are doing at Teaching kids about entrepreneurship and financial education from an early age is critical to their well being and success.”

Jason Young, CEO, MindBlown Labs

Creates captivating mobile app/games that teach teens and young adults about personal finance.

Age: 33

Favorite Food: Ramona's red chile burrito

Favorite Video Game: While I love Thrive 'n' Shine, my favorite video game of all time is Final Fantasy II

Favorite Toy: Legos

Favorite Teacher: Ms. Banks (Spanish)

1) When did you first know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

When I was 9, I had an opportunity to shadow an entrepreneur, a local plumber, two days/week. I worked with him over the summer and quickly came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to become a plumber when I grew up. That said, working with him ignited my passion to run my own business and be my own boss.

He paid me $10 a day to work with him, and I saved my money that I earned to buy candy called “Sour Power”. The candy was very popular but not readily available in stores. You could only get it from the ice-cream truck once a day. I found one location that would sell it to me in bulk and used my savings from the summer to purchase large quantities of it. I then marked it up by about 50% and resold it for a profit at school. My school eventually shut me down. By then, however, it was too late. I was hooked on this thing called entrepreneurship.

2) Tell us about MindBlown Labs. What do you enjoy about running your own business?

Mindblown labs was founded in 2012 in Oakland, CA. My company creates mobile games to teach kids to make critical life and financial decisions. Our first game is called “Thrive and Shine”. When we started the company, my co-founder and I did not have an office space for my 3 employees. We worked remotely to keep costs down. At the end of 2012, we were offered free office space by Community Bank of the Bay. In 2015, Mindblown Labs has grown to 12 people!

Every day, I have the opportunity to work on something that I am passionate about. I want all kids to understand money, and how to make critical decisions that will affect them as adults. I also have a lot of flexibility in how much I choose to work. Running a business requires dedication and discipline. I work much more than a full 9-5pm day, but I choose the hours that I work. I also work with highly competent people.

3) What advice would you give kids about running your own business and the skills that you have learned?

a) Running your own business takes a lot of hard work and discipline.
b) It’s important to surround yourself with dedicated individuals and ask for help when you need it whether it’s from your parents, investors and/or friends.
c) It’s not always the smartest person who is successful. It’s the person who has the endurance to figure things out, make mistakes, and then keep on moving forward. I have started five different businesses and each time I have learned something new from my failures.
d) It’s important to respect people’s differences. Everyone on your team has different strengths and gifts.

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