New Venture Expo Pitch Transformed Into Shears Hair Studio [VIDEO]

Julian sits in his hair studio

Julian Doroteo, a first-generation college student and 2022 alumnus from Bridgeton, NJ (Cumberland County), graduated with an entrepreneurship degree from the School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship within the Rohrer College of Business. As a student, Julian pitched his business idea at the New Venture Expo, ultimately launching his business Shears Hair Studio from the experience.

Growing up, Julian was surrounded by the ‘hustlers mentality.’ He watched his parents sell food as street vendors and complete other side jobs. Having that factor was a huge motivation for Julian to learn more about opening and running his own business. From the start, Julian always knew that he wanted to work for himself, as well as provide jobs for other people in the community with the same passions that he had.

Julian and his girlfriend Elizabeth posing inside of Shears Hair Salon

When looking at pursuing an entrepreneurship degree, Julian heard about Rowan’s business school having a very strong program. Not only that, his family always dreamed of owning their own business, but they never had the resources to make that dream a reality. Julian decided to give it a shot; he applied and got accepted into Rowan University.

While attending Rowan University, Julian learned how to establish a strong business plan, present ideas thoroughly, experienced networking events and received lots of support and motivation from his professors. He had professors that ran their own companies, which were helpful resources for him to keep growing as an entrepreneur.

Julian giving a hair cut to one of his clients inside of Shears Hair Studio.

During his time at Rowan, Julian participated in the New Venture Expo at Rowan, which is a key event that entrepreneurship majors have to participate in that is sponsored by the Rowan Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. It is an intense competition where business students show off their ideas, with the chance to win money to help fund their plans. Students research, create a business plan & budget plan, calculate expenses; everything that goes into finances including finding real numbers, real resources, suppliers, etc. This competition tests students’ knowledge, transforming classroom learning into real-life experience.

Julian entered the New Venture Expo competition his junior and senior years. His junior year, he established the baseline for what he wanted to do and the information that he needed, and he made it to the finals with his business plan “Shears.” At the time, Shears was meant to be a mobile app for other hair salons to use for bookings. When his senior year came around, the idea shifted into becoming an actual hair studio. Julian and his friend Jake worked together on the project, rehearsing and recording pitches until 1 am. The New Venture Expo helped Julian establish a solid base for learning what to expect in a real-world setting. As a new grad, Julian was asked back to judge the New Venture Expo in 2023. For future students, Julian recommends that students take the time to do their research and get realistic numbers, as the judges will look at your numbers in depth. He also suggests that students practice their pitches in the car, as it helps boost public speaking confidence and overall preparedness for the event.

Julian and Elizabeth posing outside, in front of the Shears Hair Studio sign.

Julian has always had a passion for cutting hair and giving back to others, which helped inspire the creation of Shears. At the age of 16, he was cutting hair from his house, and at the age of 17, his cosmetology teacher got him a job at a local hair salon. From there, he was mentored by different barbers. After high school, Julian enrolled in the Marine Corps where he worked, but also cut hair of some of his fellow Marines. His peers often commented on how good he was at cutting hair and giving fades, a type of hair cut, to his clients. Everywhere he went, Julian felt called to keep up with hair cutting. For him, cutting hair was a way to give back to the community and put a smile on people’s faces. 

After working through the creation of the mobile app Shears during the New Venture Expo, Julian changed gears and opened up Shears Hair Studio as a storefront barber shop on March 26th, 2023, located in Bridgeton, NJ. He and his girlfriend/co-owner Elizabeth chose the Bridgeton area because he wanted to keep all of the local customers and stay in a high-traffic area that he knew very well. Bridgeton is populated with a lot of Spanish-speaking individuals, allowing Julian to use his Spanish speaking skills to connect with a wide array of clients that come in searching for a fresh new look. Not only does Julian have a place to take care of customers, but he has the opportunity to give jobs to aspiring barbers as well. Julian feels fulfilled knowing that he has a place to call his own, and he has the drive and passion to keep expanding his business. At the moment, he is trying to do research about the income and expenses from his current success, so he can use that information to open up another storefront barber shop in the future.

Check out Shears Hair Studio: 12 West Park Drive, Bridgeton, NJ, 08302

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Written by Jordyn Dauter, junior dance & elementary education double major