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December 2011 Saw the Extinction of Pencil Bugs
After six years of hand making and marketing his colorful, bug-like pencil toppers, 16-year-old creator and entrepreneur, Jason O'Neill, decided to retire from his business, Pencil Bugs.
By: Nancy O'Neill
At age eleven, O'Neill was the youngest to receive the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Young Entrepreneurs of America. In 2008, Forbes named him on their Top 10 List of Role Models 18 & Under. Many other awards followed.
O'Neill added published author to his credits in 2010 with his first business book, "Bitten by the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur."
While the opportunities, recognition, and awards were more than O'Neill could have imagined, Pencil Bugs were not just about him. His business gave him the ability to support children's charities.
The first two years, O'Neill donated a portion of his proceeds to a local foster family agency. In 2008, he switched his focus and support to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, California. In addition to his own donations, O'Neill also held annual fundraisers to give teddy bears to the kids in the hospital at Christmas. In 2009, with worldwide support, O'Neill was able to give 1800 teddy bears to the hospital.
Throughout the past six years, O'Neill has spoken at schools, community organizations, conferences, and TEDx events sharing his entrepreneurial story and inspiring people of all ages to "Try their ideas."
O'Neill's original Pencil Bugs may be extinct now but his inspiring story lives on through his book, interviews, and speaking engagements.
With Pencil Bugs behind him, O'Neill has started his second business venture -- Creative Tech Guy -- designing websites for other entrepreneurs, small businesses, and people who simply want a personal website. As a high school sophomore, O'Neill is involved in acting, technical theatre production, and is looking forward to college and getting a computer science degree.
For more information, visit http://www.PencilBugs.com or http://www.CreativeTechGuy.com.
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Entrepreneur, Jason O'Neill, created Pencil Bugs when he was just nine years old. What started in 2005 with the main product, Pencil Bugs, a handcrafted colorful, bug-like pencil topper became a successful enterprise. In December 2011, Pencil Bugs became extinct and O'Neill retired from his first business venture.