Jonathan Valicenti, Mirada Media’s president, was recently featured in Future CEO Stars, a publication for young entrepreneurs produced by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, a non-profit corporation, in partnership with yourhomework.com. The article by Katherine Korakakis, titled Signs of an Entrepreneur, profiles Jonathan from his first taste of entrepreneurship when he participated in his high school’s student stock exchange to his motivations for starting our digital signage integration service. The complete article after the jump.
Signs of an Entrepreneur
By Katherine Korakakis
If you had asked Jonathan when he was a kid reading his financial times whether or not he would be an entrepreneur later on in life, he would of said no. But low and behold, after participating in his school entrepreneurship project called “Student Stock Exchange” (www.studentstockexchange.com), he was intrigued. “It was not just seeing my business that did it for me, it was seeing what others had created,” he says.
While in college Jonathan launched his first venture after seeing an interview on television. “The man being interviewed on the news was describing his business, how it was growing and the benefits. I though to myself, Wow! What an amazing idea. Why can’t I do that?” So he did. He recruited a friend and worked all night every night for months. Three months later his business was launched. “The first three years were tough. We thought we would be rich right away, but we had to make many sacrifices and changes and try new things before it worked out.” While trying out new things, he bought out his first partner, a huge personal gamble, and brought in a new partner: Carlo Pansera.
After the success of his first business he launched two others. His current venture is Mirada Media; a digital signage company. Digital signage is the evolution of the traditional media vehicle for advertising, product promotion, and information display. The medium provides retailers and other businesses complete and centralized control of on-premise information presented through digital displays like plasma/LCD/DLP/LED screens, projectors, and kiosks. Updated instantly through digital signage software, these displays will show rich media content, such as images, flash videos, live television and data feeds.
Jonathan believes that you have to “dream big in order to get big. If you have high expectations, it will give you something to aim for. People think that you have to be an expert in the business you go into, but that’s not true. In my first business, I had no clue what I was doing, but I learned. Now, I’m an expert in my field!”
His advice: Look at what others are doing, look at what you like doing and look at what you spend your money on. That will give you a good indication of type of business to start.” He adds, “It’s a misconception that all businesses have to be innovative or new. That’s not true. All you have to do is capture a market share that is novel. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”
Jonathan Valicenti came from humble beginnings. His parents were not entrepreneurial but they were hard-working. Jonathan is now 28 yrs old, lives in Montreal and is on top of his game.