It has been said that the best entrepreneurs take the biggest risks.
Dropping out of university to found a startup is a risk; so is quitting a salaried job to do the same. But that's exactly what Kristaps Ronka and Hussein Fazal did.
The result? AdParlor, and recognition in Inc.com's 2011 30 Under 30 List.
Their stories from Inc.com:
Fazal was a software developer for Bell Canada and Ronka was an intern. "We started talking about how to make money off the applications," says Fazal. "And that's when we realized there weren't any good Facebook Ad networks. Ronka came up with the idea of building an ad network for applications—not just for Facebook, but for MySpace and a few other sites as well. So, says Ronka, "we just started coding in our free time."
After months of that, Fazal decided to create a legitimate business. He quit his job and started AdParlor. And when Ronka finished his internship, he told his mother that he was going to leave school while he worked on the business. "His mother didn't like me for a while," jokes Fazal. Ronka dropped one course after another and never finished school. "We were working out of our respective basements," says Fazal.
While AdParlor hasn't disclosed its 2010 revenue and won't disclose its projected 2011 revenue either, the startup now has 15 employees, so it's certainly doing alright. As one of less than 100 companies with access to the Facebook Ads API, AdParlor is the exclusivr manager of Groupon's Facebook ad spending and plays a role in ad spends for numerous other companies such as Ubisoft and Sega. Precise numbers will not come from the lips of Hussein or Kristaps, but these words did: "tens of millions."
Sorry, Bell. Sorry, school. These guys are on a mission.