Today: Apr 23, 2024

Yorktown alum flips first startup pre-diploma, now eyes new venture.

4 months ago
  • Roger Nowakowski, a native of Arlington, sold his first startup before officially graduating from high school.
  • The startup was specialized in helping “sneakerheads” and luxury goods enthusiasts secure rare or limited-edition products.
  • Nowakowski has now moved onto his next venture, a platform connecting brands with social media influencers called Waves.

Roger Nowakowski, originally from Arlington, Virginia, had already founded and sold his first startup before he graduated from high school. The startup was formed when he was 16 years old, operating in the luxury goods market – particularly for sneaker enthusiasts.

His startup addressed the challenge of securing limited-edition sneakers from brands like Nike and Adidas which often sell out within seconds of being released online. Nowakowski’s app provided a solution by allowing users to purchase a single pair or multiple pairs of these high-demand shoes at just a press of a button. The venture proved successful, amassing roughly 1,500 paying users who made over $1.4 million in purchases through the platform.

After selling his venture in 2021, Nowakowski quickly delved into new projects. He spent the next two years working on a blockchain app for music artists with a Miami-based team. Most recently, he has been pivotal in the inception of ‘Waves’, a platform connecting brands seeking advertising with influencers on social media platforms. Brands can select people with smaller Instagram or TikTok followings to promote their products and therefore, widening their exposure. Payment for influencers is then based on how well their promotional content performs.

Nowakowski expresses ambitious goals for Waves, including reaching 100,000 creators and over $1 million in total creator payouts. The young entrepreneur credits his successes to his mindset of embracing hard work, maintaining confidence while staying humble, and constant learning.

His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs includes being a leader that motivates those around you, focusing on the product and its users, and retaining the ability to adapt quickly to new situations. He also suggests being prepared to dedicate an extensive period of their life to their venture as key to achieving sustainable success.