Ader – An $8 million startup in two years with a 23-year-old CEO

Justin Warden, the CEO of Ader (, visited Reddit to explain his startup. It’s a fascinating story and well worth reading…

How I took Ader from $0 to $8m yearly revenue in 2 years with no experience.

Justin defines his credentials like this:

  • 23
  • CEO of one of the most profitable Esports companies
  • 12 employees
  • Youngest CEO to get an investment from Disney
  • College drop out

He describes his idea this way:

“Fortunately I played a lot of video games, so I had a passion. I was familiar with live streaming and recognized that was being underutilized as a marketing platform. While many companies where activating influencers across YouTube, the Twitch space was barren. My co-founders and I decided to bring the talent agency model from YT to Twitch. This migration process, called sunbirding, results in some of the most successful businesses worldwide (Starbucks, McDonald’s, etc).

The task at hand, however, felt humongous. How would three kids with zero experience convince anyone to pay them to run influencer marketing ? We had to test to see if there was demand.”

He has a great section on “testing the business model”:

“At Ader we tested our business model by buying bright, pink, overly tight shirts and writing “talk to us for sponsors” in black sharpie on the backs. We then traveled to twitchcon, walked around, and in 3 days closed our first client for $300.”

It’s a great little article, and a great success story. His website ( is also impressive – many things to learn by walking through it.

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