October 27, 2011
I almost called this article “Kids These Days,” before realizing I’m not old enough to use that expression. But that’s definitely my reaction to Ben Lang, an 18-year-old Israeli entrepreneur who is currently building two startups, working for one, managing a blog with 15 writers, and preparing to enter the Israeli army.
“It’s time-consuming. It’s pretty tough to balance all of them,” he admits.
How did Lang get himself into all of this? Pretty organically, it seems. His startup MySchoolHelp, a platform for students to share class notes, grew out of a note-sharing site he built at Ramaz High School in New York. After graduating from the Teens in Tech incubator, MySchoolHelp has signed up users from 150 schools and is expanding to colleges. Lang’s team now includes several high schoolers who reached out to him online – the same way his blog, EpicLaunch, acquired a slew of writers.
Lang’s second startup, ClassParrot, was cofounded at a Startup Weekend in Mountain View, which he attended during Teens in Tech. “The last weekend I was there, I decided to go to this, for fun,” he explains. But it became more serious after ClassParrot won the education track and signed up 500 teachers in the week after launch.
Explaining this to me over the phone, Lang sounds soft-spoken; but perhaps that’s because he’s at work at an Israeli startup called Wibiya, which was acquired by Conduit in July. And starting in March, he will be in the Israeli army – as a volunteer, not a conscript – where he hopes to work on social media.
Without the pressure to make money just yet, Lang is enjoying the experience. “It’s fun to see that you’re making an impact and people are using what you’ve done,” he says.
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