Tuesday, 18 March 2008

The Ben Way story

The Storey about Ben Way – I thought that it would be so much interesting to publish this then to go on about business news again about the credit crunch etc. Hope you enjoy this. For me this guy is an inspiration to have achieved so much at such an early age. Enjoy!

When Ben Way's teachers told him that his dyslexia would stand in the way of success, he was determined to prove them wrong. His Young Enterprise (YE) company, Grass Heads, produced home-grow grass plants, so Ben spent evenings packing seeds and sawdust into tights. He went on to become one of the first dot com millionaires when he was only fifteen years old. He attracted media attention following his early success, and he also featured in numerous media stories. Before his eighteenth birthday, Ben had negotiated a £25 million deal to launch an internet-based business to business data aggregation service which continues to trade. He has won "New Business Millennium Young Entrepreneur Of The Year" in 2000 which was given to him by (now Prime Minister) Gordon Brown.

However, after a dispute with the investors in 2001 he was diluted out of the business and lost everything. It is reported that he was in the Sunday Times Rich List under Robbie Williams the same day he could not buy a tube ticket.

He then went on to advise both the UK and US governments in 3rd Generation Mobile Technology, before heading up technical and environmental investments and due-diligence for the Rotch Property Group who have over £1 billion in asset management. It was with the latter company that he developed his passion for environmental technologies.

In 2003 he started a successful mobile innovations company that developed one of the first remote monitoring medical devices as well as many other projects, this evolved into the Rainmakers after developing a number of successful innovations for clients and the market. The Rainmakers continues to grow. Due to the success of The Rainmakers, he was able to in 2006, appeared on the Channel 4 TV show “Secret Millionaire” where he gave away £40,000 in a philanthropic act after spending two weeks in Hackney as a volunteer. £20,000 was given to a youth organisation, £10,000 to a young entrepreneur, and another £10,000 as a thank you to one key member of the Hackney community.

He is now regarded as one of the leading experts on web 2.0 the Semantic web and also sits on a one hundred million dollar venture capital fund called Brightstation Ventures. Has been quoted as describing the Semantic Web as "the most powerful development of information management since the creation of the database"

In early 2007 he was invited to join Brightstation Ventures an $100 million (£50 million) technology Venture Capitalist fund as the CIO (Chief Innovations Officer) where he has worked with projects such as miomi and Shiny Media. Launched in 2007a social website HorsesMouth made it into the top 25 UK web 2.0 start ups. In September 2007 he also launched the world’s first POIP service, ViaPost which allows printing of documents over the internet which are then sent by Royal Mail.

The way he is developing new innovations at such an early stage is just astonishing. He refused to give up after he lost everything and proved to be a typical entrepreneur that he can make it again.

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