This 14-Year-Old Just Turned Down $30 Million. Here’s Why

young entrepreneur
Image from RecMed

When you were 14 and needed a Band-Aid away from home, what did you do?

I’m sure my first step was to ask my mom.

After that… I probably just gave up and hoped the cut would take care of itself.

However, a 14-year-old in Opelika, Alabama, is thinking a little bigger: Taylor Rosenthal started a business to solve the problem.

How to Start a Business When You’re 14

His startup, RecMed, began as a project in a Young Entrepreneurs Academy class.

“Every time I’d travel for a baseball tournament in Alabama, I’d notice that kids would get hurt and parents couldn’t find a Band-Aid,” Rosenthal told CNN Money. “I wanted to solve that.”

RecMed is a vending machine for first-aid supplies.

You can choose between prepackaged kits from $5.99 to $15.95 for common issues like sunburns, cuts, blisters and bee stings, or individual first-aid supplies from $6 to $20.

When you’re at a baseball game, an amusement park, the beach or any other place families tend to frequent, you may start seeing the machines as early as this fall.

Rosenthal already has an order from Six Flags for 100 machines. At $5,500 apiece, that’s $550,000 — and he’ll continue to make money from restocking fees and may add advertising to the machines.

Destined to Disrupt

He’s headed to TechCrunch Disrupt this week in Brooklyn to show off his startup.

“They told me that I was the youngest person to ever get accepted to the event,” Rosenthal said. “It felt awesome.”

He’s already raised $100,000 in angel investments, including $50,000 from Opelika-based startup incubator Round House.

The buzz he’s getting from TechCrunch will no doubt attract more money.

Rosenthal apparently is so confident in his idea’s profitability, he’s turned down an offer to buy it — for $30 million.

“It has been amazing watching Taylor grow over the past year into this confident and amazing business man,” Rosenthal’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy teacher Clarinda Jones told CNN Money. “… He’s just 14. Bill Gates should be worried.”

I think we have to agree.

Your Turn: Do you know any brilliant young entrepreneurs who decided to start a business? Share their stories in the comments!

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post,, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).

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