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Moore School student featured in book of teen entrepreneurs

October 29, 2012

Most teenagers are content just to watch MTV. 

Pedro De AbreuInstead, once Pedro De Abreu graduated from Chapin High School in South Carolina shortly after immigrating to America from Brazil, he and some friends moved to Hollywood and collaborated with the music media giant. 

De Abreu is one of three young entrepreneurs who launched, a social media platform for people in creative industries. Now a junior in the Darla Moore School of Business, De Abreu was recently featured in Sabirul Islam's book, “Young Entrepreneur World: How 25 Teen-Trepreneurs Succeeded and Left World Leaders Scratching Their Heads,” for his accomplishments in business and philanthropy.

It is clear that De Abreu not only takes the path less traveled, he enjoys the trip. 

“You have to be passionate about your purpose,” he said recently. “I was inspired most by someone who once told me to aspire to ‘become the person you can never be.’” 

Although success arrived early for him, he cautions those who follow behind him not to lose faith because so-called “overnight success” usually does not happen as advertised. His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to work hard to be better than you are and to make a positive difference. When you have done what you can, he feels an important ingredient for success is to wait for things to happen. He believes strongly that success is a process; therefore, it does not occur instantly, but develops over time.

“If you have put in the effort and done all the right things, sometimes it comes down to faith and patience.”

He also recommends a large dose of courage, and has an unusual recipe for it. 

“It is probably a very good thing I didn’t know about all the challenges my partners and I would face by moving the business to Los Angeles and dealing with the entertainment industry, or I’d have been too scared to start,” he said, laughing; explaining that sometimes too much research can work against a start-up’s chances. “Had we attempted to shield ourselves from setbacks, we would never have dared to do what we did, and never would have launched the website.”

Business leaders who inspire his work include Andrew Carnegie, Jim Rohn, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, Jack Welch and Steve Jobs. The partnership with MTV helped reach a level of success that resulted in interviews with talents such as Chris Tucker and Jada Pinkett Smith, as well as coverage for the business on entertainment shows such as TMZ. That is not something the average teen can put on his résumé - if he even has one at that age.

Now 23, De Abreu maintains a 4.0 grade point average in his third year as a major in business economics at the Moore School and spends his time reading, going to church, playing chess and spending time with his family, fiancée and friends when he is not touring as a motivational speaker or working with his philanthropic organization. 

“I am most passionate about my work with the Check Mate Foundation, which helps me give something back to the world,” De Abreu said. “Check Mate Foundation is a non-profit organization that instills the love of the game of chess in disabled and underprivileged students by teaching them the skills and capacity they need to perform structured, strategic thinking as well as giving them a place to go and something to do after school.”

De Abreu has accomplished much more than most by his age. Although it is likely he won’t use a mainstream strategy for his next gambit, it is a safe bet that he will continue to explore new ways to excel and give back to the world. 

More on Pedro De Abreu

By Clair Boatwright

*Since the article was written, De Abreu has been tapped as one of the Moore School's Emerging Leaders and also as a speaker for the TEDx Columbia convention in 2013.

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