(Cambio's Real Teen Idol series profiles real teens--just like you--who are making a difference in their communities. We're pretty confident that you'll be inspired by the stories of how they're changing the world with their ideas, heroics and compassion!)
Teen entrepreneur Vincent Quigg, 18, turned his love of technology into his own startup company, TechWorld (techworldfix.com). The Los Angeles native specializes in repairing and customizing iPhones and plans to expand into iPads and all types of electronic devices. What sets TechWorld apart? Vincent can fix an iPhone for $80 in under 45 minutes! The most common fix? Broken screens. The most common customization? Color swaps (front LCD screen, back glass and home button). In case you're curious, red is the most requested.
This year, Vincent entered the 2012 NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, submitted a business and marketing plan and was crowned Los Angeles regional winner. He'll compete in the national finals in October. Vincent, along with several other finalists, will have a chance to present his plan in front of industry pros at technology conference TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco next month. He will attend Rio Hondo College in the fall and major in Business Administration.
They have always been a part of me, you could say. I had the first iPhone when it came out. I had to have it. In 7th grade, I was the only one with an iPhone. When I was 14 I figured out how to do a jailbreak, and I advertised for customers on Craigslist. So I was actually doing software stuff on phones before I jumped into hardware fixing.
How did TechWorld come about?
I started when I was 16. I used to break my devices, and I always had to drive far away to get them repaired. So I taught myself how to do it. I'm very hands-on. I watched a lot of video tutorials. People are always like, "I have a cracked screen. Where should I go?" I know where to get the parts, so I just started to do it. We are happy to say our prices are very much lower than Apple's.
Do you work out of your house?
Yes, right now I work out of my garage. But one day I will have a store. So many people have come to me with broken products--not only phones but computers or any electronic device--they can all be repaired.
What appeals to you most about being an entrepreneur?
I'm very independent. I don't want a 9 to 5 job. I want to be able to set my own schedule. I'm taking the steps that are necessary to be my own boss.
What are your other talents?
I was a varsity basketball player for four years. I've played basketball my whole life. I started when I was 3 at the YMCA. I think that has played a huge part in the leadership side of me. I've always been the point guard and set plays.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Have you ever heard the Nike slogan Just do it? You've got to really take that to heart. If you have a goal, write it down. Take care of your goal. If you do one thing for your goal every day, it will get you one step closer to achieving it.
(Want to learn more about becoming an entrepreneur? Check out MakeYourJob.org or Cambio's NFTE content hub.)
Do you know a real teen idol? Let us know in the Comments below.