The internet has been one of the best places for young entrepreneurs to start businesses in recent years, and there seems little chance of that declining as the online world continues to be used more widely year after year. The problem is, with the market being so competitive, a lot of start-ups fail. In fact, some sources state that as many as 75 percent of startups fail – and those are venture-backed ones. In an effort to avoid falling into that large doomed bracket, it’s wise for young professionals to look to some of the success stories for inspiration.
In 2006, Ron Yekutiel, Shay David, Michal Tsur, and Eran Etam founded Kaltura, an open source software company. It was launched at the TechCrunch40 industry event in San Francisco and won the People’s Choice award. The company had twenty employees at the time, and earned investment of $2.1 million from business angels. The main aim of Kaltura is to allow publishers and content creators to manage and analyze their video content. Now hugely successful, the company teaches young entrepreneurs how to target and master certain niches in order to give their fledgling businesses the best chance of surviving.
In the past, people were restricted to only being able to buy tickets for the lottery of the country in which they were residing. But Lottoland UK was created to change the way people play. Through lottery betting, this innovative idea enables users to stake on lotteries from all over the world and be in with achance of winning the same jackpots as residents of the country in which the lottery is based. This is an example of a hugely successful start-up, as it began with only seven people, back in 2013. Now, it is played by people all over the world and boasts a workforce of 270 members of staff from over thirty different countries. It shows how far a unique idea can take a company.
There are a number of huge online image sharing websites, but Imgur is up there with the biggest. In 2012, there were 300 million images shared and 364 billion image views counted. Since then, the company has grown even larger and in 2014 received investment to the tune of $40 million from Andreessen Horowitz. It started off small, though, founded by Alan Schaaf in 2009. The young entrepreneur originally started the site as a side project while he studied at Ohio University for Computer Science. Schaaf made a fortune from this venture, and his story should serve as an inspiration to other university students who are hoping to get rich – or at least gain an income – from starting an online business.
The thing that these three startups all have in common is that they were unique ideas at the time and their creators had spotted a gap in the market. Their stories show that it is possible for small businesses to become extremely successful, and young entrepreneurs should look to them for inspiration.