YOUTECH & ASSOCIATES
THE YOUTECH STORY
The Youtech Story told by Wilbur You
Yes, my name is Wilbur You, and I’m 27 years old. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a Master’s in Business Administration. A lot of people say that I’m way too young to be doing this, or I’m missing the best years of my life working and not enjoying life around me. I’m here to set the record straight. I started Youtech & Associates in June of 2012 after a month of researching the market industry, the tech trends, and if I could really do this. Before that, I worked in the Corporate World of America as a Marketing Director getting experience and learning how real corporations run. Although it was frightening, I figured I had almost nothing to lose.
I was fueled by my young instincts, drive, determination, caffeine, and lots of cocktails to get this thing off the ground, and establishing myself as a market leader in the area. At the age of 21, I quit the job in the city, abandoned everything I use to do wrong, and decided to find and create a team that I could bring on to start this project with me. Luckily, I had a network already within my current friends and family that I could tap into. In comes, Shawn Herrick and Frank Hilgers. At the time, I was really trying to prove to everyone that I could do this, and convincing Shawn and Frank to jump on board was no problem at all. They helped fuel the whole project, and on July 24th, Youtech & Associates was born.
I was fueled by my young instincts, drive, determination, caffeine, and lots of cocktails to get this thing off the ground, and establishing myself as a market leader in the area.
Truth be told, this wasn’t the first business I began. I had the spirit ever since I was 10 years old behind a computer playing video games. I created a game server and started selling virtual items, and eventually, I had about 15,000 active users and making about $5000 per week. This project got shut down when I received a cease and desist letter to my parent’s home.
It’s what I always wanted to do and it is definitely a dream of mine to create something and ultimately perfect the craft and make a difference in this world. Everything seemed perfect when it all began. We had visions of being successful and having everything we wanted in this world. Reality set in real fast and realized that we had no money, no connections, and most importantly no customers.
On my personal side of things, this was something that also saved my life. I was in a difficult position in my life, and what you would call a rough patch. I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted to do, or who I wanted to surround myself around. I have always been a person that liked to be busy, to have a set goal in mind, and to make things happen the way I saw them. Life just doesn’t work that way, and as I quickly learned business is definitely not that way either. In the end, Youtech changed my life.
When Youtech started, we began looking for clients, anyone and any project large or small to start our portfolio. Our first and second clients were the previous company I was working for and a small Equestrian company that was a family member of Shawn’s that gave us the opportunity. We would chase $500 websites, $1000 websites, and it just started growing bigger and bigger.
After a couple of months of building small websites, and getting things rolling, we would work 80-100 hours a week, day and night to get new customers, to get our name out, and to get things stable. At the time we had about $2000 saved up from our customers and small clients, and we took a leap of faith to sign an office lease in Downtown Naperville to become more presentable and professional.
It was a huge risk for us to take, we didn’t know how long we could last, and we definitely didn’t have enough money to last that long. After the move, within a week or 2, people started to call and our work started to get shown around the area to other business owners and before you knew it, we had some big clients and a waiting list of businesses waiting for our services.
It didn’t stop there, a few months later, I decided we needed to add to our team, and we hired our Creative Director Lauren Urban and Director of Business Development Trent Anderson. I knew I needed help on the web development side, and also on the sales side. They both bought into the vision, took risks in their careers, and joined Youtech. I now had a team that was going to stop at nothing until we got to where we wanted to be.
Let’s fast forward 5 years, we have hired and expanded to 40+ employees. We have 2 office locations, one in Naperville and another in Scottsdale, Arizona. We have rebranded our company, our image, our services, and now we work with some of the biggest companies in the United States. We came from $500 websites to Million Dollar Projects in a matter of 5 years, and we have done it the right way, the correct way, the ethical way, and we have created an environment in which everyone feels like they are an asset to the team. We have been offered to be bought out, we have been offered to be invested in, but the best feeling in the world is to know that we have not taken a penny from outside investors and that we have built Youtech this far from literally nothing.
Youtech has never seen a red line of debt, and we are so proud in that. We completely bootstrapped this business, and we have become very good at it.
Youtech was ranked #524 in Inc. 5000, Top 10 in Web Design, and Top 10 in Search Engine Optimization throughout the United States. In that time, we have become a Premier Google Partner, grown our clientele to over 600, been featured on ABC 7, Forbes, and Many other publications.
I hope this story helps the younger generation realize their paths, that it isn’t always an easy road to get to where you want to be. The hardest part is to start. IF you are looking for a sign, this is it.