Ben Anderson ’05, president of Cinemotion, LLC, based in Minneapolis, has been named the Minnesota Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Anderson started Cinemotion with meager savings and little equipment out of his student apartment in 2001 while studying entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas. Cinemotion started as a video production company, producing high-quality advertisements and videos for corporate clients.
Anderson’s initial success led to a 2005 Pentair Prize “Student Entrepreneur of the Year” and a $5,000 scholarship for the University of St. Thomas College of Business. He also received the 2006 Minnesota Collegiate Entrepreneur Award and was named Great Lakes Regional Collegiate Entrepreneur by the Anderson Entrepreneurial Center.
In 2006, Anderson introduced the AutoMotionTV Video Library. The company created a library of vehicle videos and currently licenses those videos to thousands of auto dealerships for use in online marketing efforts. In 2010, Cinemotion introduced the AutoMotionTV App Creation Platform. It’s a tool that helps manufacturers and dealers create long-term customer relationship channels using mobile apps.
Now based in downtown Minneapolis, Cinemotion has grown from a one-man operation to more than 20 full- and part-time employees. The company reached its first profitable quarter in 2008, doubled in size in 2009, and expects to double again in 2011.
Dr. Alec Johnson, associate professor of entrepreneurship in the St. Thomas Opus College of Business, lauded Anderson’s entrepreneurial qualities: “He is a problem solver and doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. He shows a willingness to reinvent himself, and that’s an impressive quality to have at this stage in his career.”
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year is selected annually based on success as measured by sales and profits, increased employment opportunities created by the business, development and utilization of innovative or creative business methods, and demonstrated entrepreneurial potential necessary for long-term business success and economic growth. All of these accomplishments are done before the Young Entrepreneur reaches the age of 30.