If the adage that says “youth will be served” was ever in doubt, 22-year-old Wilbur You is living proof there’s no stopping a young man with drive, ambition and the skills needed to be successful.
You moved to Aurora when he was 3 years old and attended high school at Waubonsie Valley. A year ago, he was fresh out of college with a degree in computer science from Northern Illinois University. You then parlayed the skills and community connections he’d made living in the area to launch Youtech & Associates in Naperville on June 24, 2012. The focus of his company, which employs five people, “is to provide innovative branding for the 21st century, web development and design, video media production and social media marketing for clients both large and small.”
“I started working on this business during my final semester of college in my basement,” You said. “We were able to get a few clients, and then after I graduated, I didn’t want to have to go and look for a job, so we found some office space in Naperville and things have just taken off from there.”
You’s business has brought in more than 75 clients in its first year, largely through word-of-mouth and others seeing the company’s web designs. You said one of the things that separates his company from others like it is the number of in-house services provided.
“There are a lot of other firms out there that outsource some of their services, but here we build our own code, do flow charts, programming, web design and custom data all in house,” he said. “We are a creative ad agency, and we have been marketing ourselves as Naperville’s creative ad agency.”
Youtech also offers web designs that You said “are transformed to mobile size so they fit onto mobile phones as well as tablets.” His clients so far have included such well-known companies as LA Tan, the Chicago Tribune, American Invesco Realty, Nationwide CareMinders, the Follett Educational Group and White Fence Farm.
“I built the 200 North Dearborn website from scratch, and I guess it made everyone look good,” You said with a laugh. “They wanted me to go full time with them, but I was still in school. After I got out, they wound up being one of my first clients.”
Lauren Urban is another 22-year-old member of the team who came on as a graphic designer after joining the company in June. The Braidwood resident said she found You through a friend who went to school with him, which led to an interview and ultimately her a job. Urban touts her youth as well as other “youngsters” in the group as being one of the company’s strong points.
“Because we’re all young, we know what people are looking for these days and what’s popular and up and coming,” she said. “I feel like all of us are very personable, and we’re not uptight, which makes our work fun for us as well as for the clients.”
Urban said her boss “has great skills and is someone who leads by example.”
“Wilbur certainly puts in a lot of time here, and he understands the other areas of the business,” she said. “So when he talks to clients, he understands the graphic design and the programs at the same time, which helps integrate everything better.”
You said that, while he would like to expand the business through other services, including doing in-house videos and providing mobile apps, he has no interest in seeing his client base explode.
“We still have people on lists waiting to have their websites built for them,” he said. “My goal is to expand slowly. I don’t want anything going out there with our name on it unless it’s absolutely amazing.”