CEO and Co-founder of AdStage, Sahil Jain, is not your typical CEO. Remember the time when you wanted to drop out of high school,or quit your job and do something on your own? This young entrepreneur did exactly that.
The 20-something’s journey to becoming a multimillionaire by 25 is nothing less than a wonder. As a highschooler, ‘finding shortcuts’ was Sahil’s way of finding opportunities. Sahil did not want to give in to traditional ways of building something that ‘changed the World’, and wanted instead to create an identity for himself by creating his own company.
An avid gamer in high school, Sahil landed his first gig when he was 15. He pitched his first marketing plan to Mousesports, a multigaming studio based in Germany. The move paved the way for Sahil to put his plans into action. He soon dropped out of school at age of 17 to join Yahoo! Mobile as a black box QA tester.
The ‘Young Age’ Crisis
Being underage had its pros and cons. While Jain faced his share of struggles being the young person on the team, he simultaneously bagged opportunities. A year and half later he decided to get back to school, and joined UC Berkeley to study Philosophy.
As fate would have it, when he was 19 and still juggling between academics and side projects, Sahil got a jackpot offer with AOL. He had the opportunity to work with successful companies like Y-Combinator and was exposed to a completely different side of the corporate world. 5 months of office politics later, Sahil co-founded trigger.io.
The AdStage Story
Becoming an entrepreneur for Sahil Jain was not ‘by chance’ or by ‘the biggies knocking on his door’, but by mere choices and his desire to stand out in the crowd.
A casual beer with his friend Eoghan McCabe, founder and CEO of Intercom.io, led to the founding of AdStage. From a single Bulmers-induced conversation, he resigned from Trigger.io, called his future co-founder, Jason Wu, and convinced him to drop out of Carnegie Mellon.
Ten days later, they incorporated AdStage. Twenty days later, pre-product, they raised their first $1.2 million round led by Freestyle Capital.
Sahil’s big vision at AdStage is building the platform for the new head of Demand Gen and their latest product ‘Automate’ is the first step towards building a platform to lead in that space.
His AdStage journey stands out as an inspirational story for young, aspiring entrepreneurs. Decisions at the right time were key to Sahil’s success.
In a tough moment in his career, he confided in his father, a successful entrepreneur in his own right. He shared a crucial piece of advice: Never let someone of any status put you down, especially when you're challenging the norm.
Advice for budding entrepreneurs
“ The measure of your business success should not depend only on a monetary outcome. What if the odds don't play to your favor and you don't have an exciting liquidity event? Build an intellectually stimulating work environment that inspires innovation and growth within the business and individually. “
His goal is to have employees 10 years from now, wherever they are, remember AdStage as the place they learned more than they have ever learned.