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Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022

Not Kidding Around

That lemonade stand on the street corner might just be the next blockbuster enterprise – at least, if one local company can help.

Kidworth, a Pacific Palisades startup, helps children build their own companies by offering services such as business-card creation, advice and payment processing.

Founder Rudy DeFelice said he wants to ensure that budding entrepreneurs get the assistance they need to hit it big in the business world.

“It’s hard to imagine there won’t be an Elon Musk or a Jack Dorsey or Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg that doesn’t come out of this community of kids,” he said.

First started in December as a company providing investment and goal-setting advice for youth, Kidworth unveiled its revamped business model last month.

In just a few weeks, it claims to have helped several hundred kids start businesses. The businesses are mostly rudimentary and aren’t exactly LLCs: Many are simply individuals selling items online, while other youths offer to babysit for neighbors or wash cars. Some are selling custom-made artwork and a few startups offer computer support services.

The process is simple: Kids, or their parents, register online for free and can then use Kidworth’s site to begin selling products or offering services. Kidworth helps the children solicit customers – mostly family, friends and neighbors – through professional-looking e-mails and Facebook posts. The company makes money charging a 99-cent transaction fee to buyers.

DeFelice, 48, said the idea for the company came from watching his young children start simple businesses, including washing cars. A former lawyer, he gained experience in the startup world by launching a venture-backed software company.

DeFelice and a few backers have put about $1 million into Kidworth, which now has five employees, including several engineers responsible for developing the site.

“We’re at the walking stage, but we’ll be running soon,” he said.


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