Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

At 20-years-old Michael Topschij runs two companies, has made 14 apps

20-year-old whose creations have been downloaded 1.4 million times in US for inspiration
20-year-old Michael Topschij of Christchurch runs DV Arts developing apps, having made 14 to date. Photo / Supplied
20-year-old Michael Topschij of Christchurch runs DV Arts developing apps, having made 14 to date. Photo / Supplied

Twenty-year-old Michael Topschij runs two companies and has developed 14 computer applications which have chalked up 1.4 million downloads.

He's about to rub shoulders with 5000 app developers in San Francisco in the hope of learning what it takes to create the most downloaded app.

The self-confessed computer nerd and entrepreneur developed his first app at 14-years-old and on the back of its success started his first company DV Artz three years later.

By the time he was in Year 11 at Lincoln High School in Christchurch his business was growing and Mr Topschij was dashing off to the library with between classes to do the accounts on his laptop.

"High school was pretty much just a thing that needed to be done."

Most of how her learnt to run a business was through Google and his father Alex.

He has now developed 14 apps with 10 of these providing tips and tricks for popular online kids games.

Mr Topschij first got into developing apps when he was a 13-year-old and started blogging about then popular game Club Penguin. The blog got such a huge following that he asked his mother for $100 to buy an Apple developer's license to develop a tips and tricks app for the game.

But his most successful app to date has been one providing tips and tricks for the Minecraft game.

It has been downloaded free more than one million times on the App Store. Revenue collected mainly by in-app purchases where people can access extra information and some ads has helped fund other projects.

His original company DV Artz is now focusing on developing other apps such as social media and DV Kidz has been set-up to look after the core youth gaming market.

DV Artz has already developed an app called NextPlay Music to help people customise their music collections and a social network app called Flymego which lets people people build their popularity by making friends.

Mr Topschij comes up with the app idea, creates the graphics and then gets an overseas developer to build the app. His goal is to create one which goes viral such as Tinder or Snapchat and becomes number one on the App Store.

"It is a very niche thing... It's the nerds - us guys who can sit in front of a computer and figure it out and come up with all the crazy ideas."

Mr Topschij spends half his time in his Christchurch office coming up with the next big app and the other time pursuing his dream of becoming an author. He is writing two adult coming of age books and studying two English papers at the University of Canterbury.

He is also following his own advice to budding entrepreneurs to help him achieve his goal of getting published.

"If you like it just keep going. If it's something that you want to do and you enjoy doing it then just keep on going because eventually you will get there. It's going to take time, it may not take time - but just keep on going... I want to publish a book and I'm just going to keep going until it's done."

- NZ Herald

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