Graduation classic enters the modern era

It was simple enough.

Build a business, put together a portfolio and strategy, pass it on to your professor and graduate.

Most portfolios would end up packed in the scores of boxes in the move from college back to home. But for twin brothers Anthony and Andrew Rizzo of Latham, both 25, they brought their idea to life. It has since blossomed into tens of thousands of dollars in profits, and all from the comforts of their parents' home in Latham.

When I was in college in Florida, we had to do a business project and plan. I decided yearbooks would be a good idea. It has worked out good, said Anthony Rizzo.

Their brainchild was Digital Journey LLC, an online yearbook company that allows clients to build their own yearbook online and order CD-ROM and DVD prints.

The costs and work are minimal, both admitted.

The brothers graduated from Full Sail Real World Education, a technical school in Winterpark, Fla. They both received degrees in digital media. It is a field cluttered with new recruits who often go to work to bring many companies into the digital age, if they aren't already there. For entrepreneurs like the Rizzos, it's an opportunity to work on your own time and your own ideas.

"We both came up with it. We were in the same class; all of our classes were leading up to this final project," said Andrew Rizzo, the self-described better looking of the two. "I was kind of surprised. But after we looked at the competition, it wasn't that great."

The competition is the classic, and often costly, hardcover yearbooks that yearbook club members hawk in the remaining months of school, strategically placed at the intersection of busy school hallways. Many of those companies have turned to online services to design yearbooks, said Andrew.

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