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Millionaire teen app maker explains who helped him before sale

March 27th, 2013
04:00 PM ET

Money isn’t everything – but if you’re 17 and made $30 million overnight, it certainly doesn’t feel too bad.

Nick D'Aloisio is the 17-year-old wunderkind everyone is talking about since Yahoo announced the purchase of his two-year-old app, Summly.

In an interview with CNN’s Ali Velshi on Wednesday, D'Aloisio explained that though he was the “sole founder” of the company, he did get help from some big names before Yahoo’s purchase.

“I was fortunate enough for the Hong Kong billionaire Lee Ka Shing to just cold approach me,” D'aloisio said – he was fifteen at the time.

Lee’s team was trying to work out a date to meet with D'Aloisio, but when they realized he was still in school, they decided to fly out and meet the schoolboy in person.

D'Aloisio said though he developed the original algorithm, he wasn’t the only person behind the app’s engineering.

“We have a team of in-house scientists that have also been coding,” he said. “We worked with Sanford S.R.I. – they are the guys who did Siri, for example. So they actually generated brand new I.P. – it wasn’t licenses. They didn’t have any staff, previously existing. We built I.P. together, under an exclusive license. And then when we sold to Yahoo – all that I.P. was transferred over to them. So Summly and Yahoo owns 100% of the I.P.”

Filed under:  Latest Episode • Tech
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Mo Bjornestad

    Nick – need a new project – I need a little help for my project for helping people.

    March 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  2. Dana

    Congratulation, Ali Velshi! Wonderful program! It was a pleasure to watch! Do it again!

    March 28, 2013 at 6:14 am | Reply
  3. Tbonetyler

    $30mm is nice, till you have to pay 50% of that so that blacks dont have to work and can continue to smoke pot

    March 28, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • slick


      March 28, 2013 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • Lodosh

      Tbonetyler, that is a racist comment. Nick, I really am challenged. Love what you've achieved at so early an age.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • lucy

      please stay in school

      March 28, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Reply
    • nxumalo sicelo

      OMG you are such a lousy racist. am glad they are not many people like you in our time

      March 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  4. goldelux

    What was Ali saying at 2:48? "Are you one of this like Chinese gymnast?" What was he meant by pushing you down the road?

    March 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  5. lucy

    tbonetyler stay in school please you sound like a fool

    March 28, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  6. tomas

    Check this list of app makers and you can follow him List of app makers

    July 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Reply
    • tomas

      sorry here is

      July 25, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Reply
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