At a young age, Paul DeMott knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur. He was a sixth grader when he launched his own lawn care business, going door-to-door with a push mower asking neighbors if he could cut their lawn. In high school, he published his own e-book, drawing on his competitive video gaming experience in junior high.
To continue building upon this early business success, DeMott, BBA ’15, factored college into his life, enrolling in the UC Carl H. Lindner College of Business to study entrepreneurship with a minor in psychology and philosophy.
As a sophomore, DeMott yearned to study abroad. He achieved victory in this area, too, earning a Killam Fellowship to study entrepreneurship at the University of Victoria in Vancouver for the fall 2013 term. The Fulbright scholarship program is sponsored by the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the U.S., an opportunity he learned about through UC’s International Programs newsletter.
To earn the scholarship, DeMott submitted an essay about how his own life’s challenges in overcoming shyness helped him relate to others and their struggles.
“UC helped me evolve my own perceptions of life by putting me in contact with people from all walks of life and with contrasting perspective to mine,” he says.
Since enrolling at UC, success has been a common thread in his life. During his freshman year at Lindner, DeMott took advantage of a leadership opportunity to lead a group of 25 fellow classmates in the Lindner Fast Track Project Innovation assignment. DeMott and his team created a business called Midnight ZZZnacks “that delivered food, snacks and drinks to college students after-hours when other stores closed,” he says. The idea was a hit and earned him a second place finish in the competition.
Meanwhile, as DeMott’s academic career takes off, his entrepreneurial efforts at home continue to blossom as well.
His landscape business has evolved into a much bigger operation, with larger equipment and client base. Though his “Reach ur Potential” e-book didn’t achieve the success he had hoped, it did propel him into Internet marketing. “I have a business helping small businesses create websites and rank high in Google search results,” he says.
As he continued to blossom, build confidence and overcome his shyness at UC, DeMott and friend Nick Shah, CEAS '13, a current UC College of Medicine student, upload a weekly podcast to YouTube called the Contemplators. The podcasts deal with a variety of subjects such as building confidence or test taking tips and receive many peer accolades.
“The podcasts became my outlet to share everything I read and thought about in the world,” he says.
In his spare time, he volunteers through a church on Tuesdays in the Guatemalan community, where he tutors English in a homework club. Though he’s not yet fluent in Spanish, his work with children is helping him learn the language.
Although he’s in Canada fall semester, he continues to develop his online business of building company websites.
“Once I’ve established myself in the business world, I want to go back to school to get a PhD in philosophy because I love reading and thinking about things,” says DeMott.