Russian immigrant leverages referrals to grow Company Folders

Vladimir Gendelman grew up in the U.S.S.R. dreaming of owning his own business. It seemed like a far-away dream for the youngster growing up in a communist country, until he immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1990s.

Gendelman worked as a website developer for a few years before he got laid off in 2002. That’s when he decided to seize on his childhood dream, launching a start-up called Company Folders. The company helps make presentation folder selection easier to understand and use.

“With presentation folders there are a lot of options,” Gendelman says. “People either offer you just one way or you get overwhelmed with information. I set a goal of taking that overwhelming information and turning it into something understandable.”

The Keego Harbor company now has a staff of six employees and the occasional summer intern. It hired one person (a writer) over the last year and now has three openings for jobs in social media, marketing and user experience.

That staff growth is coming on increases in revenue, which is up 50 percent since 2008. “Many of our new customers came from referrals,” Gendelman says. “We also get a tremendous amount of customers who come back.”

Source: Vladimir Gendelman, founder & CEO of Company Folders
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.