Joseph A. Pascaretta was only 11 in 1999 when he launched himself as an entrepreneur.
He loved airplanes and took pictures of them for his friend Aaron Dowen now his business partner to put up on a Web site.
With their knowledge of the Web, the friends designed a Web site for a local construction company, pitched it to the firm and had their first customer. With the help of a co-signing lawyer, the boys were able to sign contracts despite their age and grow their IT business, which is now Alps Technology International.
In 2002, when a client mentioned that keeping up the grounds of his business was a big expense, Pascaretta saw a new opportunity and started The Alps Lawn Co. He began by cutting lawns and landscaping, growing his client base until he needed to hire managers and employees to take over.
When he turned 15, he added another aspect to the business, capitalizing on his interest in planes and earning his pilot’s license, allowing him to take aerial photos of clients’ landscaping. And his IT company gave him an additional advantage, as he developed software that lets clients see what the finished landscaping will look like before they commit to the project.
With all of his success, Pascaretta has no intention of slowing down. In the next five years, he plans to become immersed in the Asian market and get into the health care field through software. He also plans to take The Alps Lawn Co. national and is moving it into several states beyond Michigan.