Destrehan teen tycoons place second in national contest
Joe Solito, Austin Bergeron, Matt Duhe and Joshua Stoker have already completed a variety of professional projects at their mulimedia company.
The group bested nearly 40 other teen entrepreneurs to win 2nd place at the VerticalResponse Next Teen Tycoon contest earlier this month. They were awarded $2,000 which they plan to reinvest in their company, buying video and lighting equipment and business cards. They will also use the money to pay fees needed to become a limited liability company, or LLC.
The company offers a wide range of multimedia services, including web design, videography, graphic design, photography and application design. The four founders have worked on multiple real-world projects, including creating websites and commercials for local authors and companies – all while attending school full-time and working after-school jobs.
They said that placing in the contest has already brought them a lot of publicity and news coverage that their budding business needs.
"I was really impressed with their video entry. It was a great example of ‘show, don’t tell,’" said Janine Popick, CEO of VerticalResponse. "I admire the fact that they offer a variety of multimedia services and are not limiting themselves to just one thing. That makes it a lot easier for them to cross-sell.
"From a business perspective, you need to always think about how you can expand your relationships with your customers; it’s what we constantly think about here at my own company…I think it’s a smart approach that definitely increases their chances of succeeding."
The group said that many of their skills were self-taught, but that being students at the Satellite Center in Luling helped them hone their talents. The group said that their experience at the center has given them the opportunity to work freely, instead of working at a studio where they would be told what to do.
"We’re able to leave our footprint on the world," Solito said.
Their most prestigious project yet is still on the horizon. The group is working to create an application called "Mobile Hive" for the New Orleans Hornets. The "app" would include the team’s roster, statistics, pictures, videos, a live newsfeed and Twitter feed. They have already met with a member of the team’s staff and hope to pitch the service to the Hornets once they graduate in May.
While they won’t be together once they leave St. Charles Parish, the four say the internet will keep their friendships and their business alive.
Duhe plans to attend Louisiana State University and major in business management. Solito will head to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to major in mass communications. And Bergeron and Stoker will head to the University of New Orleans for degrees in film. The four co-founders believe that spreading out across Louisiana for college will be a good opportunity to network and in turn get better opportunities for the future of StudioVictus.
To learn more about the company and its services, visit www.studiovictus.com.
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