LOS ANGELES —
The iPhone has become one of the most popular cellular phones in the United States. An 18-year-old student from the Los Angeles area is using his knowledge of the device to create his own business. It has gained the young entrepreneur national recognition.
A quiet Los Angeles neighborhood is home to TechWorld, a hospital for iPhones.
And the brain behind TechWorld is Vincent Quigg.
“I’m 18-years-old. I’m a college student. And I’m the CEO [chief executive officer] and founder of TechWorld, where we specialize in customizing and repairing iPhones," said Quigg.
Quigg’s mother, Carla Quigg, says her son had a mind for business at a very young age.
“He just always came up with little ways to make extra dollars. He started super young," she said.
Quigg launched TechWorld while in high school, with help from an organization called the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, or NFTE.
“My mom became single a couple of years ago and I had to grow up. And in order to keep my lifestyle, I had to find different ways to stay financially ahead of the game [to] keep my phone, keep a car, transportation and all that stuff. So I had to find ways to be entrepreneurial," he said.
At first, his mother says, Quigg had a tough time coming up with a business plan.
CARLA QUIGG “He quit the class, which I was very disappointed.”
VINCENT QUIGG "It was extremely hard for myself to find a business to start and run with it. But once I had that 'aha moment' [a flash of enlightenment] and knew what I wanted to go with, it was really easy and extremely fun."
Quigg not only reenrolled in the class, but he also won NFTE’S national competition for best young entrepreneur.
Estelle Reyes is Executive Director for NFTE in Los Angeles.
“He has an incredible gift for presenting himself and his dreams in a very compelling way that engages everyone to rally around him," said Reyes.
Brisa Munoz is one of Quigg's satisfied customers.
“I actually looked him up on the Internet because I had heard so much about this kid, how he won entrepreneur of the year. So I looked him up, and I was like, 'whoo, I want him to fix my phone,'" she said.
Through word-of-mouth, business has been good. Quigg says he fixes up to 10 phones per week and makes about $1,500 in sales per month. He has hired two employees. Kacee Wheeler is one of them.
“He’s such an amazing kid, and you always see his wheels turning with ideas everyday. And it’s really inspiring for him to be so young and pushing and have the drive. It’s amazing to me," said Wheeler.
Wheeler works on the technical side of TechWorld. Quigg now deals with finances and planning.
“One of my biggest goals is to always work for myself or not have a boss I have to listen to everyday. I want to know that I’m self-employed. And that’s, I think, when I’m receiving income, doing that at a large level, is when I know I’ve made it," he said.
TechWorld is Quigg's first step in realizing that dream.