Hornblower loves to celebrate greatness when we see it and we were recently massively impressed by the amazing smarts and determination shown by some of those that appeared on the Crain’s New York 20 Under 20 list.
Being ones to put our money where our mouth is, we decided to celebrate these talented young minds with a cruise aboard the super stylish Hornblower Esprit.
Here are the stories and successes of those who joined us:
You might know Ryan Kelly from the Shark Tank when he was a confident 11 year old looking for investment in his business selling fresh, all natural dog treats. Needless to say he was a success and his business, Ry’s Rufferey, is now distributed through Target and PetSmart stores throughout the US.
We were hoping to hear some tunes courtesy of DJ Fulano aka Fulano Librizzi—but since it was his night off and time for him to enjoy himself for a change, we were ok. If you haven’t heard of DJ Fulano, there’s no doubt you will notice him somewhere soon. At the age of twelve he’s racked up an impressive amount of gigs for world famous brands and celebrities, including the Clinton Foundation; Bill Clinton himself referred to Fulano as a ‘…9-year-old wonder.’
Nineteen-year-old Sara Sakowitz went to Kickstarter to fund her business, Blue Moon Box, which is a subscription service that sends out fun science kits to kids on a monthly basis. Each month, the kits supply hands on experiments as well as stories to go with them to create an engaging, all-encompassing learning experience.
Jason Marmon turned a love of coding into a successful app before even completing his final year of high school. The app is called HomeSwipe, and it’s been described as the “Tinder of apartment hunting.” Marmon has also received $500,000 in angel funding and HomeSwipe has seen over 100,000 downloads. He never finished high school but the future looks bright!
Andrew Ma has been busy inventing a water purifier that also recovers ammonia to be used later, which is a win on two fronts, as ammonia is also a major water contaminant. Ma has filed for a provisional patent and is currently studying for a degree in engineering. It may come as no surprise that he’s interested in his own startup developing business-friendly sustainability solutions.
Another one of our young entrepreneurs is Rohith Varanasi who came up with an ingenious way of serving internet pages as SMS. That might not seem like a great idea unless you have phone reception but no internet — as many in developing nations have. The invention is called Cosmos Browser. This savvy 17-year-old has now dropped out of school, hired a 20-year-old CEO and received $120,000 in investment.
15-year-old Vako Gvelesiani has been dancing since he was two and became part of the Brooklyn Nets’ youth dance troupe ten years later. That’s an achievement in itself but Vako is also hearing impaired. He didn’t even let anyone know when he was auditioning… And clearly he didn’t need to.
It was an honor to spend some time with such talented kids; their energy and enthusiasm is infectious. The future is in good hands!