It’s not everyday that a 16 year old gets a multi-million pound offer, only to reject it, but that’s exactly what Mohammed Ali from West Yorkshire did.
The 16 year old was offered ‘more than £5million’ for his money-saving website (weneed1.com) created in his bedroom but rejected it with the hope of making more.
He explained: “We met the investors in London, they were a global data driven company, and they didn’t realise I created all the technology involved.
“The offer was rejected in December, just before Christmas.
“The main reason we rejected the offer was because, if the technology and concept is worth millions already, just think how much it will be worth once people use it.
“I understand this is a big risk for me but I want to create this as a household name, and at the same time make something for myself.
“The big thing about what we’re doing is that there are no competitors – this is a real-time money saving expert – it’s like a Bloomberg for the general public.”
What’s impressive is that this is not actually Mohammed Ali’s first entrepreneurial venture.
Mohammed Ali previously hit the headlines when he created Project 2006, a video game which had a £5.99 per month subscription cost and made £30,000.
For his latest venture, weneed1.com, Mohammed Ali said he has “developed an algorithm which provides real time quotes instead of the normal pre-fixed quotes you find on insurance sites.”
The original idea for the money-saving website came from Mr Thorpe, a 60 year old entrepreneur based in Scarborough.
He founded WeNeed1 in 2009 as a reverse marketing platform designed to introduce buyers to sellers of goods and services in the UK, but it wasn’t until he arranged a meeting with the young Mohammed Ali that the idea really took off.
Mohammed then coded the WeNeed1 platform in his bedroom while studying for his A-levels.
The duo are now set to launch the price comparison site and claim it is unrivalled by competitors and the young entrepreneur hopes to inspire other teenagers to start businesses too.
Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs
Mohammed Ali, who still lives with his parents and siblings, said he became interested in computers from a young age and taught himself how to code by watching YouTube videos and reading books.
He said: “Right now I work from the bedroom day and night but we’re launching this globally so we will need to travel more.
“My mum used to hate me going on the computer all the time but I think she’s proud of what I’m doing now and my brother has been inspired by what I’m doing.
“I have learned everything from watching videos and books – there’s not much being done in schools and the education system is a bit messed up.
“Anyone can revise for exams but I don’t think enough is being done to prepare people for getting out in the real world.
“I want other people to be inspired and I want to inspire young people to develop a work ethic – it disgusts me when you see young people just getting drunk on a Friday night.”
Mohammed says he most lavish purchase to date has been contributing £1,400 towards refurbishing his parents living room.
The majority of his fortune is placed in savings accounts to help fund his business ventures.
“I look at the things I make as inventions and I like to be proud of building them up.”
“People think you need to have a massive investment or to take out loans but you don’t – you can start small and build it up.”
The Key Take Away
The last point I think is a key take away for every budding entrepreneur – you have to start somewhere, with what you have right now, start small and build it up. The point is to get started!
Its unfortunate that I know of quite a few people with great ideas that never start because they’re afraid that if they implement their ideas on a small scale that an established competitor will just come along and do what they’re doing faster and better.
While that may be a legitimate concern, what tends to happen is that ideas that you don’t act upon now are usually acted upon successfully by someone else.
By not taking any action you lose all potential future possibilities.