Raffay Ansari from Pakistan is a 16 year old child prodigy who is all set to launch his own startup very soon. Raffay is a programmer who taught himself all that he knows about coding through free online courses mainly from Code Academy. The teenager has been an iOS developer for the last 3 years and is capable of coding in multiple languages and is as comfortable working with front end technologies as with the back end ones.
A Fairy Tale In the Making
Things were not always this rosy for this young boy who was diagnosed with Ataxia two years ago. This is a disorder which causes problems in walking, reading, writing, speaking and several other day to day activities requiring fine motor skills. This disability caused Raffay to be bullied at school where he was even ostracized by the teachers who were unable to understand the very genuine nature of his problems.
Raffay believes that things changed for the better for him once he started playing the online game ‘Borderlands’. Unlike the other kids who were only interested in mastering the game, Raffay was intrigued by the mechanics of the game and how it worked. He spent hours decoding the game for which he had to teach himself coding. At the age of 13 Raffay won his first freelancing assignment wherein he coded the iOS game Mr Flap. Since then he has earned several thousand dollars through freelancing assignments and has created games that have more than 8 million downloads.
Raffay has a very optimistic view to life and even finds some positives in his disability. He believes that people are much more ready to help him out due to his limitations and the fact that he doesn’t get much sleep allows him to spend more time pursuing his true passion.
Determination Pays Rich Dividends
In the year 2013 Raffay won an internship at the Lahore based startup incubator Plan9. The ambitious young genius had applied for incubation at Plan9 but the company was unable to provide it due to him being underage. However, realizing his potential, Nabeel Qadeer the Plan9 director decided to take him under his own tutelage and mentor him personally. Since then Raffay has served as a technical consultant to startups under the Plan9 umbrella and has so far been linked with 11 ventures.
This budding entrepreneur is all set to launch his first company which he plans to name as ‘Odyssy’. This is a startup which would make it easier for publishers and bloggers to manage their content despite having relatively low knowledge of the technical aspects of coding. Odyssy is going to close the first round of seed funding where it has received US$20,000 from an Islamabad based investor.
Raffay believes that this is just the beginning of his long journey ahead. This hard working future entrepreneur starts his day at 7am and after finishing school works on his ideas till wee hours in the morning. His extreme passion for what he does is matched only by his ambition which is soaring high, the young prodigy plans to pursue a dual degree in mechatronics and business management after completing his A-levels.