Named the winner of Warren Buffett’s “Grow Your Own Business” challenge in 2015, Jake Johnson is stepping back into the entrepreneurial world with his patent-pending product Beaux Up. Jake and his sister, Lachlan, are partners in their business, Beaux Up bowties, an edgy twist on the classic self-tie bow tie where bow tie halves can be interchanged on a unique clip allowing a completely customizable experience for the wearer. Jake was the creator of the Beaux Up idea, but he also enjoys marketing and the business of entrepreneurship as shown by his fourth place finish in the international DECA (marketing) convention in 2015.
Realizing the benefit of learning entrepreneurial skills at a young age, Jake and his sister created Trep-ology to give other kids the advantages of becoming a Trep. Trep-ology gives kids the opportunity and help (in the form of an online curriculum) to make Trep skills a part of their DNA by starting and running a business. Jake is also a part of Independent Youth and Google’s Digital Trep-Start program, and travels the country teaching kids about all things entrepreneurial – from coming up with an idea and the legal and financial considerations to sales, marketing and ethics.
Jake is a rising senior, but he has been involved in business from a much earlier age. At age 8, he and his sisters came up with the idea for Flipoutz, a silicone bracelet that holds coins that kids can trade and track online at flipoutz.com. As part of Flipoutz, Jake appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank and lived to tell about it! He and his sisters were also featured on PBS Biz Kids and were nominated for ChiTAG’s Young Inventor of the Year.
No stranger to entrepreneurship and the working world, Jake started his career as an actor at age seven. Among his favorite roles are the youngest “Ricky Bobby” in “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” and “Lucas Moran” on six seasons of Lifetime’s “Army Wives.” Jake is involved in varsity soccer, basketball (2015-2016 Coach’s Award), and track and field (2015-2016 Coach’s Award), plays several instruments, and has been a national finalist in the National History Day contest in both the performance and the documentary categories.
Jake believes entrepreneurial activities are an investment in the future and he enjoys sharing his ideas with other business minded kids. A favorite quote is by Warren Buffett who said, “Someone is sitting in the shade today, because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Jake is happy to be a part of Independent Youth and encourages other teens just like him to start planting!