Entrepreneur of the Year finalist: “Get ready to put 10 years of your life into your startup”

This sponsored post is part of a series of profiles on Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” finalists. Click here to keep up with the rest of the series.Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Ernst & Young offices in San Francisco, where I sat down with Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, Tasso Roumeliotis, founder and CEO of Location Labs.

The Emeryville, Calif.-based company provides location services on mobile phones, primarily used by parents to track their children. Founded in 2002, Location Labs has been steadily gaining steam and continues to grow rapidly after nine years and $26 million raised.

I talked with Roumeliotis about the origins of Location Labs, and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. He told me that he first developed a passion for mobile technology in 2001, early for the mobile industry. He was quick to realize that what mobile phones lack in screen size, they make up for in one key feature: they are always with you.

The son of Greek immigrants, Roumeliotis proudly tells the story of his parents — who didn’t miss a day of work for eight years (including weekends and holidays) — and the work ethic they passed down to him. Tasso also relayed a story from his days at Bain & Company, where he showed up to the office wearing a suit on his first Saturday on the job, assuming it was a work day like any other. In his eyes, this non-stop attitude has been vital to his company’s success to date.

Tasso’s one word of advice for young entrepreneurs: Find a company with a business model that will generate revenue. He believes nothing will drive true long-term success and resiliency for a company better than a product that can generate value and make money.

And lastly, according to Roumeliotis, “Get ready to put ten years of your life into it, because that’s what it’s going to take to build a great company.”

Want to be the next Ernst & Young Northern California Entrepreneur Of The Year? Provide your contact information and we’ll let you know when the nomination period opens in January 2012. Fill out the form here!