Will Curran turned his passion for entertaining and music into a successful one-stop shop business for teen events.
Will Curran loves music. He also loves to entertain. So in 2007 he launched Arizona Pro DJs*, a business dedicated to throwing epic dance parties for teens.
With $400 in his bank account from his electronic Internet radio station, Curran, then only in high school, laid his station to rest and bought—literally—DJ In A Box. He had never deejayed before, but it didn’t take Curran long to fall in love with the musical art—and get clients.
“One of my friends offered to pay me fifty dollars to DJ her sweet 16,” Curran says, “You have no idea how happy I was. I thought I was the richest man in the world.” He was a sophomore in high school at this point. As more offers came in, Curran realized he could really bring in a profit, so he chose a name, got a website, and printed business cards. Then the business started to grow.
Now Curran is a senior at Arizona State University. He has turned his 2007 solo deejaying into a growing business with three other employees and 20 subcontracted staff professionals. It’s no longer Curran and his DJ In A Box, but professional DJs, event managers, set up crew, and more at every event. “We actually have the capacity to run six events simultaneously,” he says.
Arizona Pro DJs has received two $10,000 grants from ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative. But Curran is proud that the rest of the business has been bootstrapped and that he’s able to pay for equipment and employee wages through revenue. Equipment is very expensive however, and the business works hard to stay innovative, so Curran and his team is working on getting loans and other grants to put toward this endeavor.
Curran still deejays from time to time, but his main focus is as the CEO and president of Arizona Pro DJs. He also spends a lot of time ensuring that his business is extremely focused on client satisfaction. Most of his business comes from high schools, private events, and even some college events. But Curran keeps the business in the under-21 teen demographic, a niche he decided to focus on in the very beginning. “Basically we’re a one-stop shop when it comes to teen events,” he says. “We can do everything from lights, to security, even the marketing and flyers.” Last year Curran and his team ran 63 major events for satisfied customers (not including the smaller or promotional events). A lot of the business’ marketing comes from positive word of mouth.
Arizona Pro DJs has seen a lot of success, bringing in revenue of $116,000 for 2011, which Curran plans to triple in 2012. He wants to expand the Scottsdale, Ariz. business to a nearby state. Once expansion is underway and running smoothly, then Curran would like to tap into the market for events such as weddings, corporate events, and concerts.
In May 2013 Curran will graduate. The entrepreneur says he definitely focuses on his business more than school, but is excited for the bit more free time he’ll have post grad—to work more on his business.
* After this piece was published the company has since changed its name to Endless Entertainment.
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Thank you to these organizations that provided nominations: Arizona State University, Babson College, Belmont University, Boston Beta, Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation (CESI), Chapman University, Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization, Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, Global Entrepreneurship Week, Kairos Society, Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, Middlebury College, National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Young Entrepreneur Council