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The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition

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VOL. 37 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 21, 2013

Belmont graduate built resume early

By Tony Troiano

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Ross Hill

Ross Hill was a freshman at Belmont University when he jumped into the business world as something of a triple threat.

Hill, an entrepreneur major, began a DJ enterprise featuring sound, lights and audio/visual, a business he later sold.

He started PictureBooth, a portable photo booth to set up at events or parties.

He joined with BookFool.com, a textbook buying venture that is now one of the largest in the Southeast.

Now a Belmont graduate, Hill continues to use “feeling the fear and doing it anyway” as his motto.

“Risk is part of it, you just have to work hard, keep moving and stay with it,” he says.

“In the beginning, with the DJ effort, I told my parents I didn’t want anything for Christmas but two public address speakers,’’ he explains.

“I must have been a good boy because they were under the tree that morning. I got other equipment through my earnings.

“With BookFool.com, we buy books from students for more money than the bookstores. We purchase at the end of semesters, and I run the buyback operations.

“Our first try with PictureBooth was a sorority formal, which, of course, I liked. Now, we ship to a lot of corporations for events. We’ve gone through many prototypes, but I think we have it down now. We have an inventory of 20 machines and a lot of first tries.

“Everything I’ve done has been mostly self-funded. I don’t buy or build unless I can pay for it because I don’t want to be in debt. I do whatever it takes and love what I do. Down the road there will be more ventures.”

Hill markets through developing and maintaining relationships and through websites. He has used part-time workers for PictureBooth, but will soon hire full-time staff.