Entrepreneur and technology whizz Hunter Nelson is the founder and CEO of his own company, WUPS, that employs five people and sponsors a Malibu baseball team, Red Sox AAA.
What makes Hunter truly extraordinary is that he is only 14 years old and has been running his own company since he was 12.
This High School eighth-grader has his own website, FedEx and bank accounts, and keeps his own meticulous financial records. "I repair iPhones, iPads and iPods, and sell second-hand devices to people who can't afford new ones," said Hunter. "We also buy old phones from people who have upgraded. It's better for them to sell it to me than put it in a drawer to collect dust."
He can take a damaged phone and turn it into one that looks as good as new and works perfectly. All his devices are certified and guaranteed by WUPS.
Hunter used to develop apps for Apple, but these days he's too busy running his own company. All profits go straight back into the business to buy inventory and ensure a quick turnaround for his customers. Some of Hunter's employees are adults who, he says, don't mind being told what to do by a teenager.
Hunter has always been fascinated by electronics. His best subject at school is math. A former computer teacher told Hunter's parents that he had never known a student to have such an advanced knowledge of computers.
What's it like to have a brilliant kid? Hunter's mom, film set designer Lisa Deutsch, said:
I've worked hard to make sure both my kids come from a place of gratitude and understand that it's important to give back to society. So I'm happy Hunter is making these devices available and affordable for people who otherwise wouldn't be able to buy them.
Hunter is very smart and he's also wonderful with people. The most impressive thing about him is his perseverance, how he's completely self-sufficient and doesn't need investors.
Hunter considers himself first and foremost an entrepreneur. He expects he will always work in electronics and technology because those are his strengths, but definitely not for someone else. He says he will always run his own company. His business heroes are Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, Apple's current CEO.
Is Hunter prepared to sell WUPS to a bigger company? "I don't believe my company is ready for that yet, but I'll let you know when it is." This is not arrogance. Hunter is charismatic, but also charming and humble.
Hunter's father, realtor Brian Nelson, realized pretty quickly that his son wasn't like most other kids.
When he was seven he wanted to listen to Steve Jobs addressing Apple's shareholders. Hunter loves the whole concept of business, not just fixing phones.
As long as his school work isn't affected and he still has time to be a kid, we're perfectly happy for him to do this. If he doesn't keep up his grades, he'll have to cut back on the business.
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