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Ukraine Needs Sam. How Did a Teenager Sell a Million Dollar Startup

Yuliia Novik
L361ON CEO, Director of the CYFRD Investment Company

According to Tech Asia, 15-year-old Sam Richards from Australia sold his startup for 1 million Australian dollars (or almost 740,000 U.S. dollars) to Singapore’s Una Brands, and Sam is not a child prodigy. He is a typical representative of Generation Z, millennials, who will very soon change the world beyond recognition. And Ukraine will not be an exception.

Sam took his shatterproof, recyclable beverage container startup to a payback level a year ago. The young entrepreneur sold his goods through Amazon and a year later made a successful exit. The representative of Una Brands noted that these were one of the most difficult negotiations, and the young man behaved like an experienced businessman, but in the end, everyone was satisfied with the deal. What will Sam spend the money on? According to him, he will buy a new set of headphones, a watch, and a Tesla car, and he also wants to move to Singapore and to get a good education.

Why do I call this case typical? In late 2020, the American youth magazine VICE released a special project, in which the editors displayed the distinctive features of the zoomers (the younger generation born between 1997 and 2007). Their values are freedom, the spirit of a startup for the sake of a long career, rationalism, social mission, and the desire to get a quality education.

Let us go back to 15-year-old Sam Richards, a quarter to a millionaire from Sydney. His startup focused on sustainable raw materials. In his intentions, he has diversified the income received for material goods and contributions to his further education. The whole picture is taken from VICE.

This specificity of the younger generation is already creating mental barriers between them and corporate business, which for the most part is still concentrated in the hands of Generations X and Y (ages 30 to 50). By 2025, the labor market will redistribute towards zoomers, and their share will be about 30% of all able-bodied employees.

The key to understanding guys like Sam Richards is the growing popularity of the niche communities that the new generation representatives gravitate towards. It is communities in both hybrid online and offline formats that will set the tone and behavior model of the zoomers. Young people with great enthusiasm are involved into group projects, which have social significance and are related to creativity, engineering, and business.

I can say with confidence that the average age of startuppers will get younger every year and that such Sams will appear in Ukraine as well. Already parents, business, and the State should not only be surprised or even more dismissive of the successes of the zoomers, but also create the necessary conditions for their self-realization. This is the future that has come today.

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