by Debra Johnson, Published April 04, 2012
YPSILANTI - Kentaro Roy was just 10 years old when he began tinkering with computers and discovered he had a knack for designing websites.
A decade later, Roy founded a business, Kentaro Web Design + SEO. A junior majoring in marketing at EMU, he has also established an annual scholarship at the University.
As a teenager, Roy worked as a freelancer on a variety of web design projects utilizing search engine optimization (SEO), a process that helps websites get more "hits" through search engines. He also came to realize that local real estate firms needed more Internet marketing support. He had found his niche, and in late 2010 he set up his own company helping real estate firms convert web visitors into sales. Less than two years later, Kentaro Web Design + SEO reports annual sales of more than $150,000.
Roy takes pride in the fact that four of his five employees are Eastern students or graduates.
"We're all about continuing to build a relationship with the University, our customers and the community," he says.
In that spirit of giving back to the community and the University, Roy took an unusual step for a student-he set up a scholarship fund to help students pursue education in cyber security. The scholarship will award $500 to a student in the Information Assurance Program of the College of Technology. He chose this program, he says, "because the program is relatively new and does not have much funding or resources for students yet."
Roy was recently named one of the Crain's Detroit Business "20 in their 20s" for 2012, placing him among the region's young professionals who are making their marks in Michigan. Crain's selected the 20 honorees from among more than 300 nominations.
For more information about Roy's company, visit the website at www.kenta.ro.