12-year-old entrepreneur makes Forbes Top 10 List
Jason O’Neill, creator of Pencil Bugs, named on a Forbes Top 10 Role Models 18 & Under List.
Southern California young entrepreneur, Jason O’Neill, did just that in January, 2008. Forbes.com identified him as one of the “Hot Role Models To Admire” on their list of Top 10 Role Models 18 & Under. O’Neill is in good company with celebrities as actresses Miley “Hannah Montana” Cyrus, Abigail Breslin “Little Miss Sunshine”, singer Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, and actor Malcolm David Kelley “Lost”. Other regular, but not-so-ordinary kids round out the list in various areas of achievement.
O’Neill started his own business called Pencil Bugs when he was only 9 years old. Although he didn’t set out to become an entrepreneur, his simple idea of hand-making colorful bug-like pencil toppers, turned into a successful venture with a very promising future.
Pencil Bugs come in eight bold colors on top a #2 pencil, each with a Certificate of Authenticity that gives their name, birth date, care and training instructions.
When other kids were playing video games and watching TV, O’Neill was working on new products. Soon after he created his original Pencil Bugs, he made matching laminated bookmarks and t-shirts with the little characters. He already has new product ideas in the works including a plush toy Pencil Bug, a Pencil Bugs board game, and a video game. He has collaborated with his mom, Nancy, on a book series about each of the eight Pencil Bug characters and has set his goals on a cartoon series. “Who knows,” says young O’Neill. “Maybe even some day you’ll see ‘Pencil Bugs: The Movie’”.
Besides making the Forbes list, O’Neill has enjoyed some very impressive recognition during his short two-and-a-half years in business. He received a 2006 Young Philanthropist Award for his charitable donations to help foster kids, a 2007 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, appeared on NBC’s 1 vs. 100 game show as their “kid mogul”, was included on an ABC News Nightline online story/slide show, was featured on web TV and radio programs, among having many newspaper and magazine articles written about him.
O’Neill sells his Pencil Bugs on his website (http://www.pencilbugs.com) and ships them all over the U.S. and Canada. A special order was sent to Lesotho, Africa for school children sponsored by World Vision. Pencil Bugs also flew to Cairo, Egypt and landed at a company called “Z Buggie” to be given as fun perks for their employees.
What’s next for O’Neill? It looks as if there’s no stopping his success. “You keep taking small steps one at a time and eventually something big will happen,” O’Neill states confidently. “All you need is an idea and the will to do it.”
For additional information, visit http://www.pencilbugs.com . Pencil Bugs is a trademark of Pencil Bugs Plus.