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AHA MOMENT

Ian Szalinski ’10 Healthy entrepreneur president and founder of Muesli Fusion MY AHA MOMENT AT GENESEO: I took a course in entrepreneurship in my senior year. It opened my eyes to what goes on in starting a business — and helped me understand all of the pieces, from marketing to finances and production. It made me realize it was something I was passionate about. That it was something I could do, and something I wanted to do. HOW IT CHANGED MY LIFE I have a passion for eating healthy. I love muesli cereal because it is simple. It is unprocessed and has no ingredients you can’t see. I saw a lack of variety for organic products in that category and saw opportunity. I started selling Muesli Fusion’s Pure muesli in February 2011. TASTE OF SUCCESS My muesli is sold in 300 stores in 15 states, including Whole Foods, Wegmans and Geneseo’s Student Union. My wide skill set has gotten me where I am, from willingness to tackle challenges to web programming and accounting. I have been up for 48 hours making and packing 400 cases of muesli to fill an order. It’s very emotional, there’s a lot of stress and there’s a lot challenges, but there’s also a lot of excitement and opportunities. Being able to create something — something that promotes healthy living — is inspiring. LEARNING ABOUT LEADERSHIP AT GENESEO: The Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development (GOLD) program was as valuable as any class I took, and successful alumni gave me insight. Competing in a business plan competition also gave me hands-on experience. GIVING BACK Through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy in Rochester, N.Y., I mentor high school students about starting their own businesses and thinking big. I also donate a portion of Muesli Fusion sales to environmental causes. —Victoria Soto ’12 PHOTO BY KEITH WALTERS ’11

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Geneseo Scene