Tomorrow’s Tech Titans

Global Business

Starting a business used to be all about experience and having extensive education to obtain the knowledge to navigate choppy waters. But today, especially in Silicon Valley, that formula has been turned on its head, as tech entrepreneurs get younger and younger.

Tomorrow’s Tech Titans

Tomorrow’s Tech Titans

Starting a business used to be all about experience and having extensive education to obtain the knowledge to navigate choppy waters. But today, especially in Silicon Valley, that formula has been turned on its head, as tech entrepreneurs get younger and younger.

Former coffee barista, Cat Casuat, is looking at the notes she took at three in the morning.It was just hours before the Reach Ashland Youth Hackathon, where the 21-year-old would bring up her idea, and work on it with four kids all several years younger than her.

The result was the plan for “Beaten Track” an app that rewards users for achieving running, walking or biking goals by offering discounts at local farmers markets or businesses. Beaten track won, earning the team 25-hundred dollars and a big surprise – a 30-thousand dollar investment from Kaiser Permanente.

While working on the health app for Kaiser Permanente, Casuat is still in school studying software engineering and also interning at 3D printer company Type A Machines. Remember, she’s just 21. And these days in tech, that might even be considered a late start.

Childhood friends Kevin Petrovic and Rujul Zaparde started Drinkingwaterforindia.org in high school, which helped build more than 55 wells in India. As 18-year-olds, they started FlightCar, which allows people to drop off their car on the way to the airport and let it be rented out. You get a limo ride to the airport, and upon your return — a limo pickup, a washed car and a payment for how much your car made.

FlightCar is now in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston and has already raised 6.2 million dollars, including investments from celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Ryan Seacrest.

Not bad for two young entrepreneurs who still aren’t even old enough to rent a car themselves.