Geneseo student entrepreneur to appear on WXXI

The multitude of work tackled by the average student is overwhelming, but freshman John Johnson has taken on a lot more than most: he owns and operates a business.

Johnson is a business administration major and owner of Running Wild Paintball, Inc. in Nunda, N.Y., about 20 minutes from campus. Johnson's operation offers scenario fields, woods ball and an official National Professional Paintball League field for recreational and tournament paintball, as well as equipment rental, sales and repairs.

Johnson decided to start his own business as a senior in high school. He was already an devoted paintball player and learned the advantages of being an entrepreneur from his parents, who also own a business.

"My senior year of high school I started writing up a business plan and trying to find some land that I could start a field on," he said. "I ended up sending my business plan into the bank to get a loan and that got approved."

Running Wild Paintball, Inc. had its grand opening last spring. He had a lot of initial help from the community, but runs most of the business himself.

"It's a lot of work, a lot of time management," he said. "I try to keep a good plan and the winter was easy because I had it off. Right now I have to get over the obstacles of opening a business for the season along with first classes and first exams."

Johnson will be featured this week on "BizKid$," a cable access show on Rochester's City12 that promotes financial literacy for young people. He will be discussing the trials of starting a business in the current economy.

"Honestly, this economy is horrible," he said. "It is not an ideal time to start a business. I ran at least one person out of business by opening up. It's starting to get really competitive."

Johnson hopes to start a paintball team here at Geneseo and try to interest campus groups in hosting tournaments. He would like to expand to a larger field and, eventually, to Europe.

"Paintball is international, and it's getting bigger and bigger," he said. "So if I could get something going in another country that would be great."

Johnson's business is online at The "BizKid$" episode featuring Johnson will air Friday, Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m. on City12.