TeenBusiness Top Twenty 2017

Our TeenBusiness Top Twenty entrepreneurs and innovators for 2107 was compiled based on our global research. The criteria for making the list included one or more of the following: the actual or potential positive impact of the business or innovative thinking on society, the originality of the business or innovation, and the actual or potential revenue associated with the business or innovation. (See More Details About How We Choose Top Teen Entrepreneurs).


Photo: Hamilton Spectator

Photo: Hamilton Spectator

Riya Karumanchi (CANADA), 14: Creator of the "Smart Cane" for the Blind

Riya spent the summer perfecting an invention she hopes will improve life for the blind and visually impaired community: A "smart cane" that vibrates to alert users of objects in their path.

 


Photo: abc.net.au

Photo: abc.net.au

A Group of High School Students (AUSTRALIA): They Made Anti-Malarial Drug Extremely Affordable

Martin Shkreli was the ''big pharma bro" who outraged the world by hiking the price of an essential drug from $US13.50 to $US750 a tablet. Now a handful of year 11 students in Sydney have shown him up, cooking the same drug in their school lab for about $2 a dose.


Photo: Charlotte Observer

Photo: Charlotte Observer

Abby Kircher (USA), 17: Abby's Better Nut Butter

Abby has always loved peanut butter. But at age 16, when she started making an effort to eat healthier, she realized that many peanut butter brands are loaded with sugar and oils. She didn't like the plain almond butters on the market, so she decided to create her own nut butter, something that was healthy, naturally-sweetened, and tasted good...


Photo: Youtube.com/DevinThorpe.com

Photo: Youtube.com/DevinThorpe.com

Jack Griffin (USA), 19: FoodFinder -- Helps Hungry Kids find Nearest Food Resources

When Jack Griffin, then 16 years old, saw a news story about two kids living out of a truck in Florida who were homeless as a result of their late mother’s medical bills, he recognized a problem he hadn’t seen before. “I was just a student in high school I had to face none of the day-to-day struggles that these kids had,” the teen, now 19, told Devin Thorpe in an interview.


Photo: Connecticutmag.com

Photo: Connecticutmag.com

Hannah Pucci (USA), 16: Egghead Ice Cream

Hannah’s thoroughly outside-the-carton concept is an ice cream-packing method in which egg-shaped, pre-packaged scoops are offered in an egg carton-like package. This method avoids the hassle of scooping ice cream, offers multiple flavor varieties in one carton and provides portion control. 

 


Photo: blackbusiness.org

Photo: blackbusiness.org

Zandra Cunningham (USA), 17: Zandra's Beauty -- All-Natural Skin Care

Zandra Cunningham, the founder and CEO of Zandra’s Beauty, an all-natural skincare line, started her company when she was just 9-years old. Now, at age 17, her Buffalo, New York-based company has more than 40 products and is worth almost $500,000.


Photo: Big Ideas Wales

Photo: Big Ideas Wales

Callum Griffiths (Wales), 18: Clydach Farm Group -- Sells Own Brand of Pet Foods Internationally

Callum first started Clydach Farm Group with just two chickens owned by his family. Now the company has more than 1,500 chickens and a nutritional pet food division, exporting to countries including France, Romania, and Spain.


Photo: Instagram/Kayla Robinson

Photo: Instagram/Kayla Robinson

Kayla Robinson (USA), 18, Green Box Shop -- Powerful T-Shirt Designs With a Message

Starting a successful business at the age of 18 would be difficult for many, but it wasn’t for Kayla Robinson—owner of the Green Box Shop, which makes statement tees—thanks to one spotlight moment.


Photo: Twitter/Rifath Sharook

Photo: Twitter/Rifath Sharook

Rifath Sharook (India), 18: KalamSat -- Developer of the World's Smallest Satellite Launched by NASA

When the US’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) launched the world’s smallest satellite KalamSat on June 21 2017, it was the first time ever that it piloted an experiment by an Indian student – 18-year old Rifath Sharook. The development of the satellite was the result of a competition, named Cubes in Space, which called upon students from across the world to design projects that would fit in a 4-cm cube. Kalam SAT was one of the projects that was selected.


Photo: Edisonnation.com

Photo: Edisonnation.com

Samantha Wolfe (USA), 17, Finger Fire -- Heated Lacrosse Sticks

During the winter, the native New Yorker found her hands would get cold to the point that they would lose dexterity and her game would suffer. There was nothing on the market to help. So with the help of her father, Bruce Wolfe, they decided to create a heated lacrosse stick.


Photo: WarVol.com

Photo: WarVol.com

Erwin Portis Jr. (USA), 19: Jimmy Burner Fashions

Erwin Portis Jr., aka “Jimmy Burner,” had a dream, literally. The young Texan woke up one day and decided his moniker would be Jimmy Burner to complement his dream of being a fashion designer. The native of Houston is a sneaker-fanatic-turned-entrepreneur who discovered his love for fashion when he was in the third grade.


Photo: Scott Millar, Smh.com.au

Photo: Scott Millar, Smh.com.au

Scott Millar (Australia), 17: BOP Industries -- Holographic Company

The self-confessed procrastinator took seven days to develop the technology and launch his first product, a holographic entertainment display that ranges from centrepieces to life-sized holograms and is used by event managers, theatre companies and educational facilities.


Photo: Wtsp.com

Photo: Wtsp.com

Annalisa Urena (USA), 12, Creative Mind App -- App to Help Autistic Kids

Three years ago she developed a teddy bear that may help prevent SIDS. Then, the following year she created the Eye T, a t-shirt with GPS-connected sensor that would help a visually impaired person find his or her way to a location with the aid of buzzes when it was time to turn a corner. Now she came up with the Creative Minds App which “is an app for children with autism to help them learn how to be more expressive and use their emotions in day to day conversations.”


Photo: Katu.com

Photo: Katu.com

Brennan Agranoff (USA), 17: HoopSwagg -- Custom Design Socks

Brennan has sold $1million in custom socks, and he hasn’t even graduated high school. He is the founder and CEOof HoopSwagg, an online custom-design sock business that he runs from his backyard.


Photo: Mosbowsmemphis.com

Photo: Mosbowsmemphis.com

Moziah "Mo"  Bridges (USA), 15: Mo's Bows -- Makes Bow Ties

The bow tie brand, started by Memphis 15-year-old Moziah “Mo” Bridges, has partnered with the NBA to create a line of handmade neckties and bow ties featuring the logos of NBA teams.


Photo: Mahvash Ali

Photo: Mahvash Ali

Buster Milani, Marion Noovao-McCamish and Matt Billington (New Zealand), 17: Makers of Almond Milk Ice Cream

It isn't quite ice cream and it does not taste as sweet as sorbet. Enter a new frozen treat called Al Ice.The almond milk ice cream is the brainchild of three students from Henderson High School who spotted a gap in the non-dairy frozen dessert market.


Photo: Instagram.com/Julian Rios Cantu

Photo: Instagram.com/Julian Rios Cantu

Julian Rios Cantu, 18 (Mexico): CEO of Higia Technologies -- Designer of Breast Cancer Detection Bra

After nearly losing his mother to breast cancer, a Mexican teen decided to invent something to help women detect the disease during its early stages.  “When I was 13 years old, my mother was diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer,” Julián Ríos Cantú said in a company video for his new invention. “The tumor went from having the dimensions of a grain of rice to that of a golf ball in less than six months. The diagnosis came too late and my mother lost both of her breasts and, almost, her life.”


Photo: donovan smith

Photo: donovan smith

Donovan Smith (USA), 14 : Soap Maker With a Big Heart

He’s come a long way. Donovan and his mom Casey, a navy veteran, were once homeless. He learned how to make soap while being home schooled. From there, he donated thousands of soaps to local homeless shelters where staff says Donovan is giving much more than soap. He’s giving dignity. “Currently, I am getting a lot of messages of people being inspired to do the best to help homeless people in their community,” Smith said.


Photo: little g ice cream

Photo: little g ice cream

Grace Connor (USA), 18: Little G Ice Cream Co.

This Boston Teen Went From Surviving Brain Surgery to Starting Popular Ice Cream Company: ‘It’s Given Me New Energy’. Grace Connor of Boston, Massachusetts is just 17 years old, and is the founder and owner of little g ice cream co. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 15 (which has since been successfully removed), and creating delicious treats in the kitchen helped lift her up when she was battling her illness. “It was a form of therapy for me,” says Connor.


photo: tech.eu

photo: tech.eu

Mathis Andre (Brussels), 17: Faqbot -- Bot Technology to Answer Questions About Products

French teenager Mathis André had been tinkering around building websites when he dropped out of school at the age of 16 before eventually becoming interested in bots, the software which has exhibited a lot of promise in areas like customer service and e-commerce. André, who is now 17 and living in Brussels, is the co-founder of Faqbot, which is developing chatbots that are trying to get rid of traditional ‘frequently asked questions’ (FAQ) pages.