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When she was 14 years old her family moved to Skillman, New Jersey. My brother Dave and I were flipping through the school’s yearbook to see if we recognized anyone, and we were shocked at how useless the information was” she said. But instead of hiding away in her bedroom to write in her journal and woefully listen to Radiohead, Cook decided to be proactive and innovate a way to meet new friends.
She thought, “Instead of friending people you already know, a la Facebook, why not develop a way to find and link up with In fact, neither she nor her brother even knew how to code. After finding web developers in Mumbai, she and Dave provided a hand-drawn wireframe for their idea and IM’d with programmers halfway across the globe.
It only took one month for them to launch a bare-bones version of My Yearbook.com, which they rebranded to in 2012.
Cook did have one big leg-up: 0,000 in seed money—something her other older brother earned by starting an online business of his own while a sophomore in college.
Profile photos feature users clutching beer and swilling from a liquor bottle.
Now a seasoned entrepreneur who had proven herself a competent, creative and savvy businesswoman she no longer had to deal with people questioning her authority because of her age. As a finalist in the 2010 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, she received the same prize as the other finalists: a plaque, a men’s watch and a bottle of cologne.
(Currently, the organization not only awards gender and globally-neutral prize packages, but checks for ,000.) Cook’s online friend making forum has turned into The Meet Group, an enterprise composed of a variety of apps that “satisfy the universal human need for connection.” Aside from being one of the wealthiest self-made businesspeople under 30, founding also led Cook to meet some of her own friends along the way.