Like most teens, Mercer Henderson uses a flurry of emojis when texting with friends — but she uses them a tad differently than most people. She adds sounds, turning the expressive visual icons into what she calls “soundmojis.”
One day, the tech-savvy San Francisco teen was making her own soundmojis when the entrepreneurial lightbulb went off. “It was something I had fun doing already,” Mercer tells Entrepreneur. “So why not put the two together?” And the seed for her Audiots iOS app was planted.
The app, put forth by Mercer’s new company, 4 Girls Tech LLC, features 50-plus noisy emojis. Among them is a kissy-face emoji that makes smooching sounds, a broken heart emoji that audibly shatters and a poop emoji that, uh…we’ll just stop there, ‘k?
To take Audiots from concept to downloadable reality, Mercer Henderson got a decent leg-up from her mother, Lisa, a product marketing exec at Salesforce. Her uncle, a LucasArts sound engineer, also pitched in on sound-mixing. Not a bad startup support team, right?
The budding young tech-preneur recently penned strategic branding partnerships with GE, HINT water and the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). For her SPCA collaboration, she’s raising awareness for animal welfare by enabling Audiots users to send fun dog and cat emojis that say “funny things” and, of course, bark and meow. She also recently released Cardoji’s, a line of customizable digital greeting cards targeted to members of generation Z.
Henderson’s also working on integrating Audiots with email and Facebook. All of this, of course, after her homework is done.
Mercer’s favorite part of being a kidpreneur:
“The most fun part for me is the emails I get from people telling me they like the app! One girl told me it is the only app she has ever downloaded! I try to email everyone back after I do my homework and stuff. Also, being on TV was fun.”
Mercer’s advice for aspiring kidpreneurs:
“My advice is if there is something you like to do, think about if other people like it too. Then try to create a more fun or simple way to do it.”
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.
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