Ever wondered what became of once-hyped tech star Ben Pasternak?
Ben Pasternak was labelled as “America’s youngest startup-star” back in 2016. He even made it to TIME’s “Most Influential Teens” list that year. But that’s history now. Flogg’s website, through which he became famous, no longer exists and his Instagram page with 104.000 followers is now deserted territory.
Ben Pasternak’s road to success
For those who missed it: In 2014, the then 14-year-old Ben Pasternak created the game Impossible Rush – while in school, as he stated. The app was soon released on the App Store’s top lists and media outlets started featuring him. His second game Impossible Dial was also a hit and garnered him 85.000 dollars, in contrast to his first 200 dollars.
For his next project, he wanted to step it up and planned an Ebay for Teenagers – Flogg. To raise capital, he dropped out of school and moved out of his parents house in Sydney, into a 5.000 dollar apartment in New York. With the help of Silicon Valley investors like Binary Capital and Greylock he launched in 2016. With that story, 16-year old Pasternak became his own hype in the international startup scene.
Goodbye Flogg, hello Monkey
Today, Flogg is unavailable; perhaps ever since November 2017, as Internet Archive.org shows. What exactly happened to the app, remains unclear. A news outlet says he “paused” it to start another project – Monkey, an app that lets you video chat with random people. Apparently, the idea not only found its way to his first investors who again funded it but also to three million users by the end of 2017. At the beginning of 2018 the US competitor Holla acquired the app for an unknown amount.
Ben Pasternak in an interview with Gründerszene at our HEUREKA conference in 2016.
And now? Vegan chicken nuggets
According to Sydney Morning Herland, the young entrepreneur later moved to India to regenerate his inspiration. In October 2018 his father announced an upcoming launch by his son, which Pasternak first revealed on Medium in February but has since removed the post: He was going to work on a company called Nuggs, aiming to produce vegan meat substitute products to end factory farming. Nuggs was funded with 1,8 million dollars according to Angellist. It already has a website but is still in search for developers, designers and office managers.
On his social media accounts he apparently chose to only list his CEO job at Nuggs and not show any traces of his famous younger years.