I started my first company at the age of 15 - some 8+ years ago as a teen just entering high school. I bootstrapped the company from my bedroom, recruited a small team of remote engineers/sys administrators and grew to profitability in a few short years. I made many mistakes along the way, and got tons of help from my dad and an awesome team (shoutouts to Stephen & Tanmaya). By the time I was in college, we were generating seven digits in revenue and I felt like I was on top of the world.
8 years later, after two short terms working for Cisco Systems and Amazon.com, the startup bug has bit me again. This time though - I decided to do things differently and join an incubator. AngelPad is based in San Francisco, and is founded by Thomas Korte - an angel investor and ex-googler. Gokul Rajaram, a Product Director at Facebook and Keval Desai, a venture capitalist at InterWest partners are also part of the board. Thomas, Gokul and Keval are the guiding figures at AngelPad, and take a hands-on approach to advising their companies.
So far, the experience has been very different from bootstrapping a company at 15... For one, bootstrapping seems to be frowned upon. AngelPad, and some prominent funds back all AngelPad companies with a seed round to get us off the ground. There is alot of emphasis on choosing the right space and market, something all companies are taking very seriously. In addition, we get weekly talks from some of the leading venture capitalists in the valley. Topics are wide ranging and include market trends, product fit and building venture-backed companies.
So far the experience has been well worth it. There are 5 weeks to Demo Day, everyone seemes pumped and I'm excited to pitch my startup in May to the some 200+ investors AngelPad is expecting.