19-Year-Old Alex Godin Nearly Flunked Out Of High School To Found A Startup

Business Insider

Alex Godin

Alex Godin

It's been more than a year since 19-year-old Alex Godin left high school to found a startup, Dispatch.

Godin is known as one of the youngest person ever to be accepted into TechStars, at 17, and the son of marketing star Seth Godin.

Curious about how he's doing since Dispatch raised nearly $1 million last year, Business Insider caught up with him recently.

Godin's young life is already the stuff of tech dreams. These days, he's working full time at his company with cofounders Gary LosHuertos, Jesse Lamb, and Nick Stamas.

But it hasn't always been easy. He nearly flunked out of high school thanks to his startup.

At the start of his senior year, Godin was working at Dispatch after school until midnight, sleeping only a few hours a night.

He was so sleep deprived he kept dozing off in class. One day, the vice principal called him into his office and told him he was failing a class. The principal warned Godin that if he didn't pick up his grade, he wouldn't graduate. Godin stepped it up as best as he could.

"At the end of the semester, I ended up just walking out [of school] and not asking if I got the grade or not," he laughs now.

Lucky for him, he got the passing grade and graduated.

In fact, his grades were good enough to get into NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Not ready to leave Dispatch for school, he deferred college for a year. When the year was up, he still wasn't ready to go to college, but a second year of deferment was only offered to people in the military.

So he persuaded NYU that running a startup is as rigorous as military service and got them to give him a second year deferment.

While many may think that 19 is a bit young to jump into the enterprise world, Alex is a firm believer in his own path.

“In this industry, a college degree doesn’t help as much for credibility and you don’t need a piece of paper to get someone to listen to you,” he says.

And people are listening. Dispatch is a project management/email replacement tool that competes with products like Basecamp and Asana. It already has a small but growing base of business users.

UPDATED: We originally reported that Godin was the youngest person ever accepted into TechStars. But Zak Kukoff was accepted into TechStars at the age of 16 for his startup TruantToday .

Raunaq Singh is an 18-year-old self-taught coder and a senior at Hightstown High School.



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