This was the second year for the Rochester Young Professionals Entrepreneurs Expo. Each of the small business owners has a unique idea, and just needs some help to get the word out about their companies.
The business owners, all under 40, set up shop at the Memorial Art Gallery for the expo. In Szalinski's organic cereal company was sparked by his love for healthy living, "after I graduated from college I was even more health conscious, I wanted to eat more organic products and really saw nothing in that space," said Szalinski. After 18 months in business, the company is growing, and he has hired two people, "we're now selling in 15 states and over 200 stores," said Szalinski.
Colleen Flaherty is a personal trainer and found specializing her service could help her succeed. She started Baby Bump Academy six months ago, offering individual and group training sessions for pregnant women, "there aren't a lot of classes offered for them in different gyms around the area and it's just a niche that needs trainers," explained Flaherty. Now, she wants to make sure people know about her business. That's why she applied to get a table at the second annual expo, "I was ecstatic when I learned I had a table because it is hard to get that advertising that we need and RYP has a great reputation," said Flaherty.
The goal of the expo is to help young business owners get their companies to the next level, "as a younger business owner and a younger professional the challenge is always finding they money and time and resources to afford marketing and things like that," said Adam Mark, the expo's co-chair, "so this is our chance as young professionals to give back to everyone, all of our members, and give them a chance to really showcase what they're doing."
Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get and the expo may provide the break the start-up companies need.
The expo also included free seminars for business owners, and opportunities to apply for scholarships so they can continue their education and grow their businesses.
You can learn more about the Rochester Young Professionals here: http://www.r-y-p.org