Frank Romano III: Entrepreneurship, Education, and Economy

This past week I got to sit down and talk with Frank Romano III, who is one of the co-founders of Vanilla Video. We talked about starting up this company, education and the changing economy.

Regarding education, Frank did two years at College of Dupage and a year and a half at the Illinois Institute of Art. However, during this time Frank said he heard conversations of students, and also had friends, that did not have jobs after all of the schooling. In just a short amount of time he was going to be out of school and he had to separate himself from the rest. Anyone in any artistic endeavor knows that their portfolio will speak volumes, so that is exactly what he worked on.

In November of last year, while working with his friend Corey on an idea for affordable and widespread video production. Vanilla Video came into being. With the economy the way it is currently, Frank said that there was a need for affordable and easy video recording and sharing service. Jobs aren’t going to create themselves.

However, this new endeavor brought a whole new meaning to education. Learning about permits, licensing, legal issues, and the whole mess of creating a business. On January 1st, Vanilla Video was born. Everything was learned collaboratively, it was okay to make mistakes because one learned from them. From branding to website, to the insides of the film business.

Romano said that the educational landscape is changing as well. It seems like most of us will have to have a more entrepreneurial spirit when it comes to creating livelihoods. When it comes to hiring individuals – if you have a kick-ass portfolio and show a deep passion and enthusiasm for what you do, of course I’d rather hire you. Even without a college degree!

Schools, he mentioned, are a great networking place. You can meet so many interesting professors and professionals in their respective fields. But is it really worth it to be $25,000 in debt afterwards? What about mentorships, apprenticeships, and entrepreneurship?

“The business type of learning,” as Frank Romano states, is much more real than when it comes to the school type of learning.  “We didn’t have much to risk, but at the same time this is all we had left to do.” We had to learn quicker and be the most innovative we’ve ever been. It was really challenging, but I think I learned so much in the last few months on my own.”

You can check out Vanilla Video and their exciting entrepreneurial venture by visiting their website at vanillavideo.com 

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