#254. Entrepreneurship is Alive and Well in Central Illinois!

Posted on | The Agurban

Entrepreneurship is Alive and Well in Central Illinois!

Thanks to my brother, Bob Schultz, for this week’s Agurban. Like myself, Bob is very interested in the entrepreneurial efforts of young people in our are. The following was posted on Bob’s blog last week.

Last night I had the opportunity to attend an EIU presentation, “Dorm Room Start-ups”. This program featured Eastern Illinois students who are running their own businesses while going to college.  

The students included a web developer, music producer and a branch manager for a consumer products firm.

Also included was a 21 year old dynamo who has launched his own investment management firm in Chicago (
www.capitalfortress.com), while still completing his undergraduate work. Subject to all securities laws, the fund is only taking in investments of $150,000 or more. So far, his average clients are investing $250,000 – $300.000 each with him!

The event featured a Q&A with the panel of student-entrepreneurs.  A great question was asked, “How do you respond when customers realize how young you are?”

There were two great responses.  One said, “People are drawn to energy and enthusiasm.  There is a distinct advantage to being young and in business.”

Another panelist said, “When I’m making a sales pitch and someone asks me my age, that would normally make me defensive.  Instead I turn the question back on them and state, ‘That’s irrelevant to what we are talking about’. Then the older person feels defensive.”  Pretty savvy. 

Some of the panelists were hoping to retire in 2-5 years!

When asked what they would each consider to be “failure” – one entrepreneur said, “Having to take a job and work for someone else.”

Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Central Illinois.  And never more so than in our youth!