Camping out at AOL: Teen entrepreneur lives on AOL's couch for two months

Free food, good showers and comfy couches can be just as attractive to strangers as empoloyees

By  

He kept only a few changes of clothes – in a locker in the gym – which he would wash at night in washers inside the building.

He kept up the scam for two months before a security guard woke him yelling, prompted by a building manager who'd caught on to the scheme and "scoured the entire place to find me. And he ripped me a new one. He was pissed I was treating it like a dorm, which was reasonable," Simons told CNET.

The guard recognized him as an Imagine K12 baby, so he wasn’t arrested. He lost his key card and was booted out of the building, though, and onto the couches of friends he'd warned ahead of time because there was no way he was going to keep squatting at AOL forever.

Either the incubator or the intrigue was good for him.

He made so much progress with ClassConnect he landed a $50,000 grant from venture capitalist Paul Sherer and Ulu Ventures.

The $50K let him rent a house and hire and engineer and some interns, all of whom live with him at the new rental.

He's not wasting the rest of the house as a resource, however. He's renting the extra bedroom with its bunk beds to a rotating crew of hackers and coders, trying to make the absolute most he can of real estate that may not be his, but in which he can at least fall asleep without wondering if he'll wake up in a parking lot with the dream of Silicon Valley billions shattered into pieces on the tarmac around him.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo Credit: 

ClassConnect

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Answers - Powered by ITworld

ITworld Answers helps you solve problems and share expertise. Ask a question or take a crack at answering the new questions below.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question
randomness