Teen student sells own name to raise money for business

May 15, 2012, 10:46 IST | ANI

A cash-strapped student in New Zealand is said to have started an auction where the winning bidder will be legally allowed to give him a new middle name

Alex James Brown, a full-time first-year Media Design School student, is hoping to raise funds to start his own business.

“The business idea is based around website hosting and design,” a news website quoted him as saying.

“There are not too many direct hosting companies in New Zealand that use their own servers.

“I’d base it around students more officially and would hope to partner with universities so we could provide the service for under 4 dollars a month,” Brown said.

The 18-year-old, known as AJ, has put the auction reserve at 1000 dollars, but hopes bidding will reach 5000 dollars so he can buy his own server.

The teenager, who has a student loan of 9000 dollars, said he didn’t want to land himself with more debt by trying to start his company at the same time.

“I didn’t want to get into debt with a loan and I wanted to do something different.

“A guy overseas did something similar thing a couple of years ago and a company bought the rights to change his name,” he said.

Brown will legally change his name for 10 years and the only restriction he has is that it can’t be offensive. He will also donate 20 percent of the proceeds to a charity chosen by the winning bidder.

While the entrepreneur’s parents were initially unhappy with the auction, they’re now backing their son.

“There was initially some talk about disrespect, because your parents give you your name so why would you want to change it? But they’ve now said they’re happy to support me. They’re also happy I’m showing initiative to raise money,” he added.

Brown said he would use his new full name on Twitter, Facebook and business cards to give it some exposure.

To change his name, Brown will have to pay 180 dollars, sign his paperwork stating his new name in front of a witness, and have the form signed by a Justice of the Peace.

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