Photo: Kenny Nguyen
It’s been a little over a year and Kenny Nguyen, the 21-year-old founder of Big Fish Presentations, is telling Fortune 500 companies how to do presentations the right way. “I realised the world’s top companies have forgotten how to present and rely on software to do the talking,” Nguyen told us.
Since its inception at Louisiana State University’s student Incubator in March 2011, the company has grown immensely.
In just over a year, Nguyen’s team managed to bring in $125,000. The company attracts clients in the health care, industrial and technology industries. Some of its past clients include Raising Canes, BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana, Civic Entertainment Group, and Cabela’s. The team is currently working on a project for database software company, Oracle.
One out of the 10 people in the rapidly-growing company is only 19 and the team consists mainly of students.
Big Fish Presentations was formed when Nguyen was disappointed after watching a boring presentation from a Fortune 500 company. “We wanted to change that, and create a company that works with other companies to turn presentations into experiences.”
With just $1,000 to start with, Nguyen set out to turn his vision into reality. Nguyen not only wanted to create great presentations, but to make the person presenting them look great, too. He believes that visuals should be an extension of the speaker, because no matter how well-designed a presentation is, without the right energy and communication from the presenter, the entire project fails.
“We don’t work like traditional graphic design agencies,” says Nguyen. “We also work with the presenter to effectively communicate the message.”
Other services offered by the company include commercial video production, copywriting, animations, coaching, custom template design, photography, and presentation workshops and seminars.
Within three months, the team was able to move from the university’s incubator into an 800 sq.-ft office nearby. Because of the company’s growth, they will soon be moving into a 1,200 sq.-ft office to accommodate production equipment, such as a green screen and lights, and to better equip them in handling their increasing workload.
Louisiana isn’t the only state they service. Since competing in New York City at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (hosted by Entrepreneurs’ organisation), they’ve acquired many clients in New York, and even as far as the U.K.
Nguyen, who works primarily on the business development end, has huge plans for expansion. “We’re looking to continue expanding in New York and in San Francisco, as they are hot spots with growing companies. We’re currently pushing an initiative with agency partnerships where we act as their cost-effective/valuable presentation design team for their clients or their own pitches.” Soon, they’ll be releasing an e-book on the power of story-telling and introducing a re-design of their website in July.
“We would also love to break into the entertainment and sports industries for our video production services,” says Nguyen.
With a team consisting of mostly undergraduate students, balancing school and a growing business is no easy task. Student designers typically spend 25 hours a week during the semester working on presentations and more than 30 hours during the summer.
According to Nguyen, prioritizing is key. “As a college student, you have so many opportunities to distract you, but at the end of the day, I know what I’m doing is making a bigger impact on the world,” he says. “To keep myself in check, I keep a daily to-do list with me on my computer, highlighting the most important things I need to get done that day.”
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