Eleven-year-old en­tre­pre­neur in­spired by Face­book founder

Montreal Gazette - - Business - POSTMEDIA NEWS

ED­MON­TON — The best thing about be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur, ac­cord­ing to web­site de­vel­oper Ab­hi­nav Dhillon of Ed­mon­ton, is the val­i­da­tion.

“You feel like some­one that ac­tu­ally ex­ists be­cause you feel like you made some­thing that can help the world out,” the 11-year-old said.

Dhillon, a soc­cer-play­ing com­puter whiz and straight-A stu­dent in Grade 6, is also the brains be­hind iplayand­chat.com, a web­site for kids who want to share games and talk about shar­ing games.

The site went live about three weeks ago and av­er­ages 2,000 page views per day, he said. The plan is to start sell­ing ad­ver­tis­ing to other gam­ing sites as the site grows.

“Right now we’re mak­ing it a non-profit,” said Dhillon, who is in busi­ness with three friends. “In five or six months, we will put ad­ver­tis­ing on it. I don’t ex­pect to make a lot of money.”

Dhillon, a self-de­scribed nor­mal kid whose goal is to be­come a rocket sci­en­tist, said he was in­spired to join the busi­ness world af­ter see- ing the on­screen por­trayal of Face­book CEO Mark Zucker­berg in The So­cial Net­work sev­eral months ago.

Af­ter spend­ing a month em­bed­ding games on the site all by him­self, and try­ing to keep up to date with his stud­ies, Dhillon made an ex­ec­u­tive de­ci­sion to dou­ble the size of his fledg­ling com­pany’s work­force. He said he se­cured the tal­ents of Jaski­rat Saggu, “a friend that I trusted.”

They worked to­gether to pop­u­late the web­site with more games, but the work­load proved too heavy. So they dou­bled their per­son­nel again to in­clude twin broth­ers Mark and Ryan Singh. “I trust them, too,” Dhillon said.

All four are class­mates and friends. The web­site now boasts about 75 games.

“Now that’s our story and here I am, the world’s youngest CEO and the friends that I hired are now the world’s youngest CFOs,” Dhillon said.

He’s not quite the record holder. In 2011, Harli Jordean of Lon­don was named youngest CEO in the world when he was eight. He turns 11 later this year. He runs mar­blek­ing.co.uk, a mar­ble re­tailer.

The kids who run iplayand­chat.com are, from left, Mark Singh, founder Ab­hi­nav Dhillon, Jaski­rat Saggu and Ryan Singh.

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