Teen helps firms Contend online

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Summer for many 16 year olds is a burger-flipping job and maybe working on their G1 driving licence.

Sean Cornelius already has sold his first high-tech company and is busy developing the second before he starts Grade 11 in the fall.

Cornelius and his business partner Daniel Wiseman launched Contend last November. The company produces blog and social media content for corporate clients such as law firms and biotechnology companies.

Working with an Australian company called Scrunch, Contend also offers clients a huge database of 10 million articles and a worldwide database of “influencers” on social media so they can produce their own content if they choose.

“Our overall goal was to give small- to medium-sized enterprises and businesses the tools and resources to create better quality content faster and at a cheaper cost without sacrificing return,” Cornelius said.

Contend charges a monthly fee as low as $750, compared to the $2,000 to $3,000 monthly fee charged by some larger companies, he said.

In March 2016 when he was 15 and at student at St. Andre Bessette secondary school, Cornelius launched Geco Digital Labs that does search engine optimization, social media content and branding, mainly for other tech companies.

He and his classmates won an Ontario Centres of Excellence Make Your Pitch contest in Toronto, picking up a $3,000 prize.

Contend was launched weeks after Cornelius sold Geco Digital Labs to a Toronto-based firm. He did not disclose the price but said he “did well” and got the funding needed to launch Contend.

The company has seven employees, including some of the same high school friends who worked with Cornelius at Geco Digital Labs.

The company works out of TechAlliance offices at Western University Research Park.

Cornelius said his future plans include college or university but given his business success to date, he said he’s still undecided.



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