Jack Kim is a 16-year-old Founder & CEO of Benelab, a non-profit internet startup he started in high school that has potential of saving people’s lives. He is a junior at King’s High School in Shoreline, WA, and have a deep passion for the internet and more specifically internet businesses. He is also interested in search engines and wants to be an entrepreneur. He thoughts nothing’s better than being an entrepreneur as soon as possible. He doesn’t really care much about making money right now, but likes the idea of giving.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
okay. well I’m 16, I’m a junior at King’s High School in Shoreline, WA
What do you like in your entrepreneurial life?
I have a deep passion for the internet and more specifically internet businesses. I am also interested in search engine, *search engines I want to be an entrepreneur. And I thought nothing’s better than being one as soon as possible i guess and I don’t really care much about making money right now, and I like the idea of giving. so i decided to found and operate a non-profit internet startup in high school it gets the people in Benelab experience, and has the potential of saving people’s lives
Tell us about Benelab and why you created it?
Benelab is a nonprofit web startup. We are dedicated to making philanthropy accessible to virtually anyone with an internet connection. By translating an everyday task, web search, into meaningful contributions, we will be able to even transform someone’s life with nothing but a crowd of people doing what they always do at home. We were founded in July 2011 with 2 founders (myselft and Devin Caplow, COO) As of today, we have expanded to 10 members, all HS students at King’s Positions innclude CEO, COO, CTO, VP of Marketing, Public Relations, Human Resources, Graphic Designer, etc. We are 100% student led and run. Development of the site is in-house by our developmental team, and our marketing division handles the press and media coverage. (benelab.org/press.html)
Why did you decided to create Benelab?
As mentioned above, I wanted to gain experience while creating potential to save people’s lives.
What have you learned since you started Benelab?
When I realized the size and power of the web search industry (a $40 billion market), I asked what would happen if just a tiny percentage of that went to good? and thats what generated Benelab. I have learned a ton from Benelab. There’s still a lot to learn, but so far: I learned that connections are everything. Get help from as many people as you can. I learned a ton about communicating with people, how to manage people and how to present an idea to everyone I meet.
If you could re-start Benelab today, what would you do differently?
I would have launched marketing campaigns very soon, and hired people more professionally, but I think we’re in a good place right now. $10,000 in 300 days isn’t easy, but we can definitely reach it.
Where do you see Benelab, 5 years from now?
Well, in 5 years i’ll be a senior in college hmm.. I will stick with Benelab as long as I can, and if it is successful, I will be managing it til then. Or what could happen is I would hire an executive team and exit out of the management team at Benelab. But it’s something I would like to be a part of for as long as I can. I have a set of goals that whatever I do in college, I will donate more than 30 percent of my income to charity, so I guess if I keep Benelab running, that goal would be pretty natural haha.
Why are you interested in donating to charity?
It’s just something I believe is a right thing to do, at least for me. There’s a ton of people in the world everywhere that just don’t have the luxury of the things we have here, and it would give them hope. Theres a lot of charities with really cool causes and I just like the idea of supporting those causes, when I know it’ll go into good use.
who knows, my contributions could go to save lives and that’s just really cool. A life or a fancier car for myself? I’d choose saving a life.
Since you were a little kid, how did you grow up knowing you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
It’s something that I decided I wanted to do in freshman year, I took a web development class on accident and it hooked me. since then, I loved making websites and was very interested in the idea of making money online and as I got deeper into it, I discovered the “startup culture” I guess, and I just like the idea of being my own boss.
Any advice or tips for other young entrepreneurs?
Just go for it! there’s not much to lose and you’ll get a ton of priceless experience. Find something you like to do and put it into good use.
Anything else you would like to say?
I think that’s pretty much it!
Thanks for reading, It’s refreshing to see new young entrepreneurs starting non-profit businesses. I think Jack Kim is different from other young entrepreneurs. Leave comments below for me or Jack Kim, and let us know what you think.Interview with Jack Kim, 16-year-old Founder & CEO of Benelab.org by Buntu Redempter