CollegeFest Celebrates Twenty Years
September 15, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education NewsBoston, Ma - September 15, 2007 - From an ambitious undergrad, to multiple youth-oriented ventures, Paul Tedeschi has been on quite a journey since his Boston University days.
His CollegeFest 2007 event celebrates it’s Twentieth Year September 22nd and 23rd. at The Hynes Convention Center in Boston. This Hingham based entrepreneur has built and runs several highly successful youth oriented ventures. And it all began during his college days. While most students are trying to squeeze in their studies around their social calendar, Tedeschi was taking the complete opposite approach to life as an undergrad.
In 1988, while carrying a full load of courses, Paul became the Advertising Manager for The Daily Free Press, Boston University’s daily newspaper. From that, he and a partner began to venture into virtually uncharted territory doing marketing promotions for college students by college students, in a company called Collegiate Advantage. And thus, his Entrepreneurial career had begun.
After graduation, they decided to continue with their company. They borrowed some money, rented a small space in Back Bay and, as Paul says “ poured themselves into the venture.” In 1991, Collegiate Advantage ran events and promotions on college campuses back in the day when no one else was doing such a thing. Their college tours rolled onto campuses nationwide, offering up promotional sampling, free trials, you name it, they did it. If it would appeal to the valuable, but elusive 18-24 year old crowd, Tedeschi knew how to reach them. His company developed a reputation of delivering the goods for top ranked companies like Coca Cola, Sprint, Reebok and Barnes and Noble, amongst others. According to the Promo 100, They were the only promotion based Agency listed in all of New England.
After 10 years and a splitting of the partnership, they sold out and Paul did a brief stint as Chief Marketing Officer with Wolff Associates. It wasn’t long, though, before he returned to his Entrepreneurial roots. It seems like he got those roots from his Mom. Growing up in Framingham, he watched her operate “The Plant Doctor,” a successful Interior Plant Service business. He liked the flexibility that business ownership offered. Not punching a time clock definitely appealed to him.
In 2000, Tedeschi migrated back to the basement of his South Shore home to grow a new venture. Since the College market was what he knew best, he stuck with it. He began as a consultant doing work with the NCAA. Then, he began MR.Youth, a group of companies, which includes CollegeFest. Attracting over 15,000 college students from campuses throughout New England, CollegeFest has a little bit of everything. From The Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, to Energy Drinks, Ski Resorts and Free Food, this very popular event attracts over 15,000 visitors from colleges throughout New England. With the help of his young, energetic staff, a partner in New York combined with his own boundless energy, MR Youth is recognized as one of the Top Promotional Agencies in the Nation.
In addition, Mr. Youth is also engaged in two other youth market businesses. They conduct all-inclusive Spring Break promotional events in Florida each March. Clients such as Victoria Secret, Dell and Jet Blue use this annual college ritual to bring their products and services directly to the students.
Paul is very high on his company called RepNation. This business model engages thousands of college students as brand ambassadors on over 800 campuses and trains them to reps national companies seeking the youth market. He calls it “the people powered media network.” Spawning a new generation of young entrepreneurs, while using the latest online technology, these student ambassadors run autonomous businesses and do most of their interaction virtually through the state of the art RepNation interface. They match up the student profile with what the clients want. This peer-to -peer marketing is a flexible opportunity for students. The more independent and ambitious they are, the more likely they will see success. If nothing else, these students get invaluable experience acting as independent business owners, but with 24/7 support.
Tedeschi offers some advice to young, aspiring entrepreneurs: “Take the risk while you are young. Later, when you’re locked in by a mortgage and family commitments might be too late.” He adds “Overdeliver on what you promise, build relationships and you’ll establish your reputation on the right formula. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We all make them. Learn from them and move on.” It’s never too early to try your hand at entrepreneurship.
Paul speaks about the importance of balance. In is first venture, he was all out…no time for anything but business. Now, he weaves in family time. He was beaming as he explains how his daughter is a budding entrepreneur, working behind the tables at some of his company’s events. He will often take his family along when he hits the road for business events. He admits that the healthy balance is what allows him to maintain his focus and drive when he is taking care of business. Though he is not the work-a-holic guy he once was, he runs more efficiently now. His learned ability to delegate has allowed him to work smart, while allowing his people to be autonomous in their day-to-day responsibilities.
For the guy from B.U., Paul Tedeschi has built a life that many dream of. His secret to success is passion. “If you’re going to be in your own business, you have to develop passion. It’s passion that will take you places you’ve never been.” A word to the wise, they say, is sufficient.”
Dave Bedard is an author and freelance writer. His book “Graduate and Grow Rich, The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Journey, is due out March, 2008. Mr. Tedeschi will be featured in the “Entrepreneur” chapter. You may contact him at email@example.com Or 508-213-4007
Mr. Youth, LLC