At 21, This Entrepreneur Has Launched Three Startups, Raising Millions
Ben Pasternak just raised $50 million for his food-tech company. His products are carried by Target and Sam’s Club. This is his third startup. He is 21 years old. Raised in Sydney, Australia, he has been living on his own in Manhattan since he turned 16.
Way to make the rest of us look bad, Mr. Pasternak.
His mother, Anna Pasternak, who still lives in Sydney, says that when she was 21, she was in college and working as a waitress. “I can’t decide what to have for breakfast, and he’s running this huge team in New York,” she says. “I don’t understand where it comes from.”
When I met the entrepreneur for coffee last week, I expected an absolute maniac, or weird genius. But he was sunny and relaxed, dressed in his “uniform” of a long-sleeve navy T-shirt, black athletic pants and sneakers. He was happy to tell his story.
It started when he was 14. A geek with average grades, Mr. Pasternak was astounded when Impossible Rush, a game he invented while sitting in science class, hit the app charts with more than 2 million downloads. “It was a tiny little game, but addictive,” he says.
Mom encouraged him to call the local paper with the story. He soon had the world’s attention and interest from a New York filmmaker who offered to connect him with investors in the U.S.
On his last day of eighth grade in 2015, he put a note in his locker that said, “If you’re reading this, you really f—ed up.”
“My goal was to never go to school again,” he says. And he didn’t.
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