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Two 17-Year-Old Students Pitch a Bitcoin Startup at DEMO Fall 2014 Conference

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by Zhanna Lyasota · 3 min read
Two 17-Year-Old Students Pitch a Bitcoin Startup at DEMO Fall 2014 Conference
Brandon Duhamel and Jamie Young at 17 were the youngest founders to pitch at Demo Fall 2014 Conference in San Jose.

Two 17-year old students seem to be the youngest Bitcoin entrepreneurs.

Two High School Seniors feel that Bitcoin can be better in some areas and have come up with a solution for the digital currency that they have released to the public. And this is not even their first Bitcoin business attempt.

At the recent Demo Conference in San Jose, California, an annual meet-up/competition held since 1991 for tech start-ups, Brendan Duhamel and Jamie Young have released an innovative plan in regards to Bitcoin payments, escrow, and product acquirement.

The name of their creation is Pavilion.io and it provides a doubtful exchange for online shopping sites like eBay, when they accept Bitcoin for payment one day.

The product allows people to buy goods and services with Bitcoin and have the payment made once the purchased item is delivered.

Since Bitcoin does not have FDIC for financial services or exchanges, and no general oversight for purchases, many companies would prefer an automated way to protect customers.

Bitcoin is designed to be purely a peer-to-peer transaction, not requiring a third-party to legislate each transaction while compromising the security of the users’ accounts.

“Pavilion.io has the potential to be a game-changer,” said Erick Schonfeld, executive producer of the conference.

Duhamel and Young were the youngest entrepreneurs going onstage at this year’s conference, which made them the center of attention for attendees, investors and other founders.

This is their second startup. “Last year we ran a hedge fund,” Young said. “The amount we were investing was only in five figures and it was mostly friends and family that were investing in it, so we got bored,” said Duhamel.

A trip to New York has changed everything for Duhamel and Young: a visit to the Bitcoin Center convinced the teens to switch their focus to the virtual currency.

“We realized that bitcoin is what all the cool people in finance in New York are interested in today,” Duhamel noted.

While participating in the Demo Conference, the young partners were also hoping to get some time with people like super-investor Peter Thiel.

He once famously said it is a waste of time for the most talented young founders and entrepreneurs to look for a college degree instead of pursuing their business ideas. “I would really rather do this than go to college,” Young said.

Duhamel and Young have already raised $25,000 in seed funding from Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale and they plan to move to Silicon Valley in January after they finish accelerated studies in their high school.

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Zhanna Lyasota

Zhanna has a background working for an American multinational food and beverage company as well as at a number of translation agencies serving similar top multinational corporations. She enjoys discovering new cultures as well as learning new languages. She is also a lover of all things fabric and floral ,especially if they are design-related. Zhanna is a graduate of Belarusian State Economic University with a major in Intercultural Business Communications.

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