James Proud is a 23-year-old from London, who has been programming since the age of 9.
He is the man behind one of the most successful Kickstarter hardware projects ever and owner of the startup, Hello Inc, located in San Francisco.
Proud has already raised over $10 million from angel investors for a sleep sensor, called the Sense, which monitors your sleeping environment.
The Londoner says, “It doesn’t just look at how you’re sleeping but at the bedroom and the environment and all the things that affect your sleep.”
Proud’s Kickstarter campaign for the project had a goal of raising $100,000 but ended up raising an incredible $2.4 million when it was all said and done.
Hello currently has a manufacturing team in China working vigorously to be able to ship out the Sense to customers no later than Christmas.
Proud opted to code for days on end in his room instead of going to University, a controversial decision as far as his parents were concerned, but what looks like a genius decision now.
He was awarded the Thiel fellowship from PayPal founder Peter Thiel for rising stars under 20 a few years ago and has never looked back.
Shortly after, Proud moved to Silicon Valley where he has been building his business ventures ever since.
Proud explained why he became the latest in a mass exodus of British tech talent to Silicon Valley saying, “You’ve got a whole area dedicated to this. If you want to do finance, you’re not going to do it here, you’re going to go to London or Hong Kong. If you’re going to do fashion, you’ll go to New York, but if you’re going to do tech you’re going to do it here.”
It remains to be seen whether the Sense will be a major hit or one of Proud’s other ideas will blow up. Backers are behind him because of his talent and not necessarily for a particular idea at the moment.
One thing is for sure, more and more British tech talent are moving to the states, and Proud and others plan on changing the world from Silicon Valley, not the UK.