While most teenagers are enjoying their summer vacation by sleeping until noon and catching up on the latest video games, Jaylen D. Bledsoe was at MegaFest (a family – friendly festival founded by the T.D. Jakes Ministries) speaking on the topic of technology and innovation.
Based in St. Louis, Missouri, 17-year-old Bledsoe is a nationally recognized teen entrepreneur, investor, motivational speaker and business development consultant.
At the age of 12, Bledsoe started his own information technology consulting business called, Bledsoe Technologies, LLC. With only $100, he began marketing his tech services and within two years, he had 150 contractors working for him and a company valued at $3.5 million.
Bledsoe’s expertise and success is multifaceted and includes start-up businesses, brand and business development, venture capital funding, direct marketing platform development and implementation, entrepreneurship and increasing revenue streams. His clientele include celebrities Jordin Sparks and Steve Harvey.
Thinking about his company’s future, Bledsoe recently re-branded his company from Bledsoe Technologies, LLC to The Jaylen Bledsoe Global Group. Bledsoe had a mentor from the beginning, chain grocery store CEO, Scott Schnuck, who gave him invaluable advice: ‘Take risks, there’s nothing that you can do as a minor that will shoot you down for too long. Because you are young, you can come back up and keep going.”
Bledsoe has spoken to more than 25,000 people around the globe and enjoys traveling to motivate young people.
“I see greater meaning in knowing that I’ve motivated someone with my story, inspired someone with my words, or impacted someone with my business rather than just enjoying the check that’s offered,” he told The Huffington Post. “I’ve come to the understanding in my life as I travel the country speaking to youth, hoping to change lives, that the word ‘net-worth’ doesn’t have to apply simply be the equation of, ‘your assets minus your liabilities’.”
In 2015, Bledsoe’s passion for inspiring and educating other teens prompted him to create The Young Entrepreneur University – a set of interactive digital programs and camps designed to educate minority students on entrepreneurship. He is planning to take this program to over 10 cities in 2016.
To that end, Bledsoe recently posted four principles to live by on his Facebook page:
“Dream & Think Big. Control Your Future. Own Self Validation. Don’t Seek Validation.”