Andrew Medal is an American Entrepreneur, Magazine Contributor, Award-Winning Web Designer and Investor based in Irvine, California. His work has been featured in Forbes, Computerworld, HuffPost, Entrepreneur, and Inc.
Andrew was born in Tarzana, California and grew up in Westlake Village. From a young age, Andrew always an interest in sports and stocks. Andrew was known to get in trouble and was in and out juvenile institutions in his youth. He kicked out of Westlake High School but later graduated from Conejo Valley, a continuation high school, in 2001.
After High School
When he was 18-years-old, Andrew moved to Orange County, California to work for his uncle who owned a clothing company. While employed there, Andrew learned the ins and outs of small business and entrepreneurship. Yet, Andrew was still participating in illicit activities and when he was 21-years-old, he was sentenced to prison. He served a little over a year before being released. During his time incarcerated, Andrew took time to reflect on his poor decisions and concluded it would lead him nowhere. He spent a lot of his time reading and made a promise to himself to turn his life around.
Angel and Commodities Investing
Andrew attended California State University-Long Beach where he studied finance, real estate, and law. While in school, he networked with hedge fund managers in the area and landed an internship with one of them. Andrew taught himself how to use a Bloomberg Terminal and with only five classes left, he dropped out to take an analyst position full-time. Shortly after, the 2008 market crash happened and Andrew found himself out of a job.
Andrew then worked for a commodities trading firm and after six months, realized it was not for him. At the same time, he was bringing deals to an angel fund near by. He worked for the fund for free for a few months before quitting his job and working there full-time. Andrew learned early stage investment strategies and worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, helping them position themselves for success in the marketplace.
One company they focused on was the sports nutrition company, PROGENEX. Andrew helped them raise $2.3 million and he and his team became founding partners, taking over day to day management. The company became the sponsor for the CrossFit Games in 2010. In addition, the company ran an influencers program for CrossFit's top athletes. In 2010, Andrew and his team got into a legal battle with PROGENEX's original founders. A slander campaign was directed towards Andrew that highlighted his past. Andrew and his team ended up winning the lawsuits and in late 2010 left the company to start the online platform, First String, which is described as "Google+ meets Facebook meets sports."
Speeding Ticket and Second Incarceration
While in Las Vegas doing business for First String, Andrew received a speeding ticket. He was on probation at the time and did not inform his parole officer that he was going to be out of state. Due to the slander campaign, the violation was taken to court and Andrew was sentenced to two years in prison. While incarcerated, Andrew spent his time making the most of every day, teaching himself how to code and to speak conversational Korean. In addition, he wrote the book Hacking the Valley where he tells his life story and intertwines it with his views about Silicon Valley.
Comeback and Entrepreneurial Ventures
When Andrew got out of prison, he immediately went to work. He founded Agent Beta, a Digital Stradegy and Design Agency that specializes in web development, mobile development, AI & VR, UX/UI design, Enterprise Resource Planning Installation/Migration, and native apps for businesses. Their clients have included IBM, Microsoft, Warner Brothers, and the California Department of Education. In addition, Andrew founded the non-profit organization, The Last Mile, in 2014 where he taught prison inmates how to code and how to pursue entreprenurial ventures. He plans to scale The Last Mile globally.
Andrew would write Entrepreneur (magazine) handwritten letters in prison inquiring them if they could publish his articles while he was still incarcerated. Although they declined, Andrew went to them after prison and told them his story. He used it as an in with the magazine and started writing articles, which he later used to build his resume and write for Inc., Forbes, Computerworld, and HuffPost. The content of his contributions centered around startups and entrepreneurship, content marketing, branding, fundraising, web design, digital marketing, UI/UX , and personal experiences.
Andrew is developing the augmented reality artificial intelligence platform BlendAR, an Initial coin offering is expected for the project in January of 2018. Andrew plans on publishing his new book, It's Cool to be a Convict, in the near future and will divulge into his life story as well as the ails within the United States Criminal Justice System.