Matthew Turcotte (Clarkson ’14)
Meet Young Entrepreneur Matthew S. Turcotte, CEO of North Shore Solutions and full-time Clarkson Student. Matthew S. Turcotte, 18, of Clayton, N.Y., is the first student to participate in Clarkson University’s Young Entrepreneur Award program which is currently accepting applications.
A business owner since he was a junior in high school, Matthew is now growing his Web development firm while earning his degree in innovation and entrepreneurship as a full-time student in the School of Business.
After meeting Turcotte at a regional technology conference last spring, Clarkson President Tony Collins felt that the young entrepreneur fit the profile of the Clarkson student.
“What caught my attention was how passionate Matt is about his business,” says Collins. “We attract both faculty and students who want to bridge research discovery and technical innovation with enterprise. He is exactly the type of student who thrives at Clarkson University.”
Turcotte started his own business, North Shore Solutions, when he was a junior in high school to provide Web design and hosting services to local businesses in his hometown.
He describes his experience with Clarkson as exceptional. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I feel fortunate that I attend a university that is as passionate about my business as I am and is so supportive,” says Turcotte. “Clarkson delivers on its reputation to defy convention.”
As a Young Entrepreneur Award recipient, Turcotte has office space on campus, in addition to the mentorship. He is able to plow what would have been his out-of-pocket tuition expenses into his business and is currently expanding his base of customers.
“It has been exciting to work with Matthew and help him grow his young business,” says Marc Compeau, director of the Reh Center for Entrepreneurship. “The real challenge is forcing him to also embrace the typical college experience. I have had to limit Matthew to one formal meeting on his company a week and I also require that we spend part of that meeting talking about academics and his social life. Matthew has done a great job of finding time to be a student, not just a young entrepreneur.”
Turcotte has recently been matched with two Clarkson alumni mentors: Marty Roesch ’92, founder and chief technology officer of Sourcefire (NASDAQ: FIRE), and John Zdanowski ’89, co-founder and CFO of PixelFish, Inc. the leading provider of online video advertisements for local businesses. Turcotte will spend time with Roesch and Zdanowski for additional mentorship and support.
Compeau is currently helping Turcotte expand his business into the Adirondacks as he begins the process of growing his young company’s market share. The need for a stronger Web presence for businesses in the Adirondacks has made Turcotte passionate about the expansion.
“Now more than ever, it is imperative for businesses to have a presence on the Internet,” said Turcotte. “Times are changing, and the conventional methods for finding businesses through phonebooks are disappearing as the Internet takes a dominant role. As someone who founded his own company in 2001, having Marty and John as mentors is already helping me think well downstream from where I am today.”
Turcotte is also working to expand his current offering of services, which now include website design and development, logo design, Web hosting, online marketing and consulting to other young start-ups.
Turcotte’s near-term goal is to turn North Shore Solutions into a leader of Web design services in the Northeast within five years. “With Clarkson’s support the sky is the limit,” says the young entrepreneur.
Turcotte successfully completed his first year at Clarkson and was named a Presidential Scholar both semesters. One of his hobbies is climbing the high peaks of the Adirondacks. To date, he has climbed 36 out of the 46. Turcotte is also the author of From Main Street to Mainstream: The Essential Steps to Launching your Small Town Business Online, which is available on Amazon.com.