Page 3 Profile: Nick D’Aloisio, entrepreneur and computer programmer

 

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The Independent Online

Giving Mark Zuckerberg a run for his money?

A teenage entrepreneur who made millions when he sold the news app he developed to Yahoo has decided to attend university in the UK rather than work full-time for the tech giant in the US. Nick D’Aloisio, 18, has announced that he will begin his degree in computer science and philosophy at Oxford University later this month.

He won’t have any trouble paying his tuition fees…

Mr D’Aloisio hit the jackpot last year when Yahoo forked out a reported $30m (£18m) for his mobile app, which provides bite-sized summaries of content from news websites that fit on to a smartphone screen.

A child prodigy?

The student began tinkering with apps for mobile devices as a hobby, and had not expected to profit from it. But when he was just 15, Mr D’Aloisio, who was born in Australia and raised in the UK, secured a $250,000 investment in his service from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing. Originally named Trimit, it was relaunched as Summly in 2011 before Yahoo acquired it last year and rebranded it as the Yahoo News Digest, a free app offering two daily news briefings, each providing nine summaries of stories aggregated from publishers across the web. Mr D’Aloisio described the product as the “perfect blend of technology and journalism”.

But now student life beckons?

The Londoner, who was named as The Wall Street Journal’s “Innovator of the Year” and featured in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential teenagers, said he will continue to work on the app during his time at Oxford, just as he combined development of the service with his A-level studies. He will split his time between Oxford and California, where he will manage Yahoo News Digest – which has been downloaded more than two million times – on a part-time basis.

Knowledge is power, though?

“It’s always been a passion of mine to learn,” he told Wired, the technology magazine. “Although a lot of business stuff is fun, at the end of the day I’m a technologist and I’m passionate about the subject.” Mr D’Aloisio added that he was “thrilled” to be attending Oxford, where he hoped to “interface” with people his  own age.

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