Jaylen Bledsoe is a 15-year-old sophomore at Hazelwood West High School in the Hazelwood School District, who started his own tech company that is now worth about $3.5 million.
Hazelwood Patch spoke with Jaylen in 2012 as his company began to take off. See: Hazelwood Teen Starts His Own IT Company
At that time Jaylen said he started his venture, Bledsoe Technologies, with startup money his Godparents gave him. In fact, Jaylen said his Godparents are entrepreneurs and have major influences on his business plans.
Bledsoe Technologies specializes in web design and other IT services. Jaylen said a few years ago, while on vacation in Florida, he purchased $200 worth of textbooks on hypertext mark-up language (HTML) and hypertext preprocessor (PHP) code to help him expand his web hosting and building knowledge.
Last year he had four employees - two local and two in India, along with an attorney. He now says he has about 150 contracted employees.
He will be taking his business savvy to his peers as the national speaker of a local youth entrepreneurship nonprofit called Independent Youth. The organization is hosting its annual TrepStart Day this month on Sept. 23. Jaylen will also be a presenter at the event.
Jaylen said his success is all about taking risks. He said youth enables people to take risk because there is plenty of time to get back up and try again.
Oh, and just because his company is indexed at close the $3.5 million doesn't mean it all goes into Jaylen's pocket.
On Twitter, Jaylen addressed some media perceptions that he is a millionaire.
"I just want to address recent headlines: I am in no way personally a millionaire, my company has simply received a valuation that high," he said.
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