Local teens Gabriel Cepeda and Amitoj Sawhney are proof that one is never too young to start a business.
The two 16-year olds from Paramus are the co-founders and chief executives of Brenerman Investment Group, LLC, a private investment club for teens which they created, launched and now manage day to day.
This is something the pair dreamed up together all on their own and worked hard to make it happen. Together they do everything from conducting daily correspondence with their investors and maintaining the group’s website. They even attend events and functions in New York City where they have the chance to market their firm and meet possible investors.
By day they go to high school: Gabe attends and Amitoj goes to Bergen County Academies in Hackensack. Both take part in extracurricular activities, play sports, and have time for friends and family. In between Gabe and Amitoj are in constant communication with each other as CEO and COO of Brenerman Investment Group.
The two teens say they have been discussing ideas for their own business since they were in middle school. Amitoj says he remembers the day Gabe approached him in the cafeteria about getting something started.
Both have family members who are entrepreneurs so both have some familiarity with what running a business can entail. Plus their family members have served as an inspiration to them as well, they say. Gabe says they both know they are very fortunate to have a lot of support from their families in this venture.
At first they brainstormed ideas and did a lot of research into what type of businesses they could launch. Gabe’s early interest in Wall Street eventually led them to their idea for the Brenerman Investment Group.
Taking in the state of the economy and awareness that people are struggling, Gabe said he realized that there were little options for teens that gave them a chance to work on their own financial futures.
They decided to create an investment group for teens that would give these young investors options, that is more personal, and allows them to interact with other teen investors. Through this they also strive to educate teens on the stock market. Gabe says the group is incorporated in New York City. It’s run like a private investment group where they all invest together, Gabe explained.
The name for their group came from their concept of “big” ideas, said Gabe. Brenerman is a take on a relative’s name who is one of his big inspirations. With the words Investment Group tacked on after Brenerman they get the concept they were looking for when abbreviated – B.I.G.
The pair hopes one day they will be able to take the group to the next level as there has already been some interest from venture capitalists. No matter what happens they will always maintain a group just for teen investors. In fact they also hope they can help inspire their peers to start their own businesses.
The young entrepreneurs say teens shouldn’t think adults won’t take them seriously. It can be done.