James Smith Moore, the son of a single mother on Detroit’s east side, knows how to hustle.
He started a lizard-breeding business at age 15 and sold more than 500 hatchlings online for $15 to $80 apiece.
At 16, after local stores ran out of a certain popular Nike sneaker, he hired a manufacturer in China to supply him with knock-offs, which he sold for $80 to $200 a pair on his own Web site as well as eBay and other auction sites. Four months later, he received a cease-and-desist letter, but he had made a $14,000 profit, enough to buy his first car, The New York Times’s Pamela Ryckman writes.
This bootstrapping spirit got Mr. Moore, now 21, accepted into Bizdom U, an intense boot camp for aspiring entrepreneurs who aim to start high-growth businesses in Detroit. Bizdom U is the brainchild of Dan Gilbert, a Motor City native who is founder and chairman of the online mortgage lender Quicken Loans. He also hopes to help revitalize his hometown.
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