Growing concerns Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2007

In 1999, Joseph Pascaretta and Aaron Dowen founded Web site solutions and consulting firm Alps Technology International with just $1,500.

The company grew rapidly, and two years later, it had 15 employees and was doing business in seven states.

Pascaretta — founder, chairman and CEO of the company — was 13 years old.

As the company grew, Pascaretta and Dowen formed a joint venture, lawn care company The Alps Lawn Co. It may seem an odd combination, but technology has played a key role for Alps Lawn, allowing it to show clients what their landscape project will look like before the first shovelful of dirt is dug.

And while that business does most of its work in Michigan, Alps Technology is doing business internationally, with clients from large international companies to small local pasta businesses in Italy.

Pascaretta believes being an entrepreneur cannot be taught; you have to experience and feel the pressure of being in the field.

“I feel the experience is just as important as the education — especially in business,” Pascaretta says. “It is great learning about how to communicate with business leaders, but to actually ‘communicate’ and interact with executives and Fortune 500 companies is something I have learned with the business.”

However, he still believes in education and is enrolled at the University of Michigan. He is also a pilot, and does motivational speeches to encourage others to succeed as he has.

HOW TO REACH: Alps Technology International/The Alps Lawn Co., (248) 709-4794 or