Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Opting For A More Traditional, Small Business

We usually hear stories of young talent leaving corporate jobs to join technology startups, but here’s someone who left a fast-growing technology startup to found his own small business. 26-year old Adam Kaplan left his enterprise and large account sales role at Manhattan, New York-based online business listings site Yext and obtained a franchise so that he can “build something of his own”.

Kaplan is opening ShelfGenie – a franchise concept that designs, builds and installs custom shelving systems that are custom-built to fit into existing cabinets – in Queens and Long Island. “I left a great job with great people at a rapidly growing company because I knew I had the experience and business acumen necessary to excel on my own,” says Kaplan. “ShelfGenie is a great concept and the product is useful for anyone — I chose this path because it was a solid business investment with tremendous growth opportunity.”

He may be on the right track. As the rocky economy continues to force consumers to rethink their spending habits, homeowners are likely to stay away from expensive home improvement projects and opt instead for practical, affordable upgrades. ShelfGenie’s customized Glide-Out shelving units can transform cluttered and hard-to-access cabinets into highly functional ones. “Not only is the ShelfGenie system perfect for homeowners looking to maximize and organize their existing space, but the product is ideal for Baby Boomers and seniors who wish to make their most-used items easily accessible,” says Kaplan. “The Glide-Outs eliminate a lot of the bending, lifting and reaching that the elderly or people with mobility issues might struggle with.”

Kaplan, of course, is probably one of the very few young men and women who’d abandon roles in high-growth startups for a far more traditional, brick-and-mortar small business. But if rumors of a coming tech bubble burst is true, Kaplan may just have bought a ticket out of a possible mess.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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  • Aqeel Pasha

    If you really want to help small business to compete with big corporations they must teach small business, how to build up their business credit profiles. This is the KEY to helping any business getting funded. Here.

  • J Siegel

    Adam takes dedication to a new level. I have never seen someone work so hard to not only achieve but exceed all expectations. There is no doubt that he will be a success within the shelving world and at anything he does. Good luck Adam! 

  • Adam Liebman

    I had the pleasure of working with Adam at Yext and I know that ShelfGenie is going to be a huge success. Adam personifies hard work, and he’s going to take over the shelving market one day at a time.

  • John Levi

    What a refreshing change of pace to read about a young man willing to work hard and build something.  I thought they were all just entitled and lazy these days.  Good luck Adam!