This 14-Year-Old Turned Down $44 Million For His Invention

Publish Date
Friday, 13 May 2016, 7:28AM

Taylor Rosenthal is a budding Bill Gates. The 14-year-old's start-up company is so hot, he's already turned down a $44 million takeover offer.

The high-school student from Alabama is the creator of RecMed, a vending machine that dispenses first aid products.

The company, which he launched in 2014, started as a year eight project when the straight-A student was taking part in a Young Entrepreneurs Academy class.

"We had to come up with a business idea," he told CNN.

"Every time I'd travel for a baseball tournament in Alabama, I'd notice that kids would get hurt and parents couldn't find a band-aid. I wanted to solve that."


Taylor explains that he initially got the idea for a "pop-up" medical shop from his parents, both of whom work in medicine, but that idea wasn't cost-effective.

"We noticed that it would cost too much to pay people minimum wage to sit at tournaments for six hours," he said.

The idea then evolved into a vending machine.

Customers can either purchase pre-packaged first-aid kits for between $US5.99 (NZ$8.70) and $US15.95 (NZ$24.8), or individual supplies like bandaids, rubber gloves and hydrocortisone wipes, ranging from $US6 (NZ$8.7) to $US20 (NZ$29).

The company will make money from selling the units for $US5500 ($8000) each, restocking supplies, and may consider putting advertising on the machines.

After applying for and receiving a patent, he began receiving business offers. He has raised $US100,000 ($146,000) in angel investment and has already rejected a $US30 million (NZ$44 million) takeover offer.

He now has a pending order for RecMed's first 100 units for the Six Flags amusement park, and Taylor hopes to sell them for use in other "high-traffic areas for kids" like beaches and stadiums.

This week, he's exhibiting his idea at the TechCrunch Disrupt week in New York.

"They told me that I was the youngest person to ever get accepted to the event," said. "It felt awesome."

One of Taylor's teachers, Clarinda Jones, said she was proud of the young entrepreneur.

"It has been amazing watching Taylor grow over the past year into this confident and amazing business man," she told CNN.

"Even with all of his success, he remains humble and ready to help others. He's just 14. Bill Gates should be worried."