At 20, Brian Wong has set out to redefine mobile advertising. Mr. Wong and his startup, Kiip, are looking to tie brands to joyful moments we have with our smartphones, like winning a game. With that goal -- to retool mobile advertising into a system of rewards instead of real estate on websites or in apps -- Mr. Wong has raised more than $4.4 million in venture capital, led by True Ventures, for what he calls a mobile-rewards network. Some say he's the youngest entrepreneur to get venture funding.
His ability to bring creativity to mobile ads is thanks in part to still having age on his side. Age, after all, is the biggest creativity-killer, Mr. Wong said. "What we see today still is the negative correlation between how old you are and how big you're allowed to think," he said. "People become jaded, immediately discount and ignore ideas that may actually hold merit." Before Mr. Wong wrangled advertisers such as Pop Chips and Sephora for Kiip -- on the network, these marketers reward mobile gamers free stuff for achieving tasks in the games they're already playing -- he was responsible for publisher and technology partnerships for social news site Digg.com.