JON TUCKER: MARKETING WEB WEAVER
Dog poo – that is the commodity in which Jon Tucker ('09, marketing) built his first
profitable business when he was still in high school.
The Simi Valley, Calif. native entered into the world of entrepreneurship before he'd even graduated high school. The first business to turn a profit was a pet-sitting service that continued operations even after he left town to attend San Diego State. "I ended up having a crew of three high school students did pet waste cleanup," said Tucker. "Yes, it was a bit of a crazy business, but it made good money. There have been national franchises built using the same concept, so maybe I wasn't crazy."
Tucker left Simi Valley to come to SDSU based on a vacation his family took to San Diego when he was in middle school. "We stayed with a friend's family at the beach," remembered Tucker. "I surfed for a week and I absolutely loved it, so I knew this is where I wanted to be. I was accepted at quite a few colleges, but SDSU was the only one I was really interested in."
After his first semester at SDSU, Tucker shut down his pet clean-up service to concentrate
on school and other entrepreneurship opportunities. He found his most valuable resources
in SDSU's Entrepreneurial Management Center (now the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center)
as he was pursuing new business ideas. "The staff is great and the programs provided
priceless learning opportunities," said Tucker. "Bernhard Schroeder (Lavin Center
program director) was one of the most inspiring mentors to be around."
Tucker was one of the first to apply, and be accepted, at the center's Lavin Entrepreneur Program, which is open to undergraduate students with the intent of preparing them for an entrepreneurial career. During the program, he was given advice and assistance from "extremely helpful and experienced mentors" which he used while starting his new website and marketing consulting business from his dorm room during his freshman year in 2005.
That business, Compete Marketing Group, now has 10 employees and operates out of an office in Poway, Calif. Even though Tucker and company are poised for success, he has not strayed far from his SDSU roots especially as a mentor and speaker in SDSU's Entrepreneurship Society and the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. "Staying involved in what's going on at SDSU keeps me excited and humbled at the same time," he said. "There are so many smart up-and-coming students, so I love staying connected with what's going on at the campus."
"The staff is great and the programs provided priceless learning opportunities."
"Staying involved in what's going on at SDSU keeps me excited and humbled at the same time. There are so many smart up-and-coming students, so I love staying connected with what's going on at the campus."