Teen with a mission: Michael Lindahl

Published 1:22 pm Thursday, March 17, 2011

Michael LIndahl is looking beyond high school, including creating his own iPhone apps. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Michael Lindahl isn’t your average teenager. He’s run a production company, is the CEO of a business that develops iPhone apps and has attended classes at Stanford University.

This Austin High School senior is getting ready to do some big things.

Lindahl’s love for computers goes back to his childhood days playing on his father’s old Macintosh. An avid Apple advocate, Lindahl learned the ins and outs of computers by experimenting.

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“There was one time when I was close to breaking (the computer),” Lindahl said. “But I’ve never been afraid of breaking it.”

Four years ago, Lindahl and some friends were messing around and decided to start making movies. Forming a “production company,” Lindahl and friends made several home videos throughout high school.

Nowadays, Lindahl works on his programming. The teen has already designed several web sites, including Westminster Presbyterian Church of Austin’s site, and he’s focused on doing more. Having learned Java programming through the Leland Stanford Junior University program last summer, Lindahl has been teaching himself iOS programming for iPhone operating systems. He’s working on several ideas, including a fractions calculator and a game which, he said, is unlike others on the iPhone. He also has a few other ideas, which include an app for Westminster Presbyterian.

Lindahl isn’t looking to profit from his developing ideas. All money Lindahl Studios, LLC (which is a registered business in Minnesota) makes will go towards Kiva, a microfinance non-profit that helps entrepreneurs across the globe. The micro loan program allows donors to support loans designed to help budding entreprenuers in developing countries around the world.

Lindahl hopes to continue his charity efforts after he starts college at the University of Washinton—Spokane next fall, where he wants to major in computer programming.