Archive for Athletics

Inside voices? No, Outside Voices

Usually a great idea starts small. When you think of  the word “small” one of the things that comes to mind is childhood. Millennial Entrepreneur Tyler Haney reminds us all of our mother’s words to use “inside voices” in her clever, hip, and trendy line Outdoor Voices. Her clever company is based off the idea that fitness should be freed from the competitive world and thus make exercise a lifestyle. With that key idea in mind she has come up with a spunky and trendy line of great athleisure and athletic wear. All of her designs are simplistic and sleep thus giving the consumer the freedom to mix and match from any of her selections. What’s so incredible about Haney and her business though is how she brought Outdoor Voices into the highly competitive market of athletic wear. She started the idea at the Parsons School of Design, continued on to the Silicon Valley, and after pitching some 70 times landed a $7 million deal to start the business. However, it wasn’t the money that made Outdoor Voices successful, it was Haney’s ambition and smart marketing tactics that truly made her sight stand out. She implemented the idea of using celebrity fans and icons such as Lenah Dunham and Gwyneth Paltrow to help expand the knowledge and desire of her specific brand. Haney’s business is now a big and booming enterprise with a future as bright as the sun.

Grady’s Pitching School

Mike Grady’s Pitching School
I am going to talk about

  • Who Is Mike Grady
  • What is Mike Grady’s Pitching School
  • How is he a successful millennial entrepreneur

Mike Grady is a man who has been involved in baseball his whole life, playing for North Canton Hoover High School and Malone University as well as coaching at Malone with many notable honor and awards for his career as a player and coach. In his love for the sport he decided to share his years of experience with others and has had much success doing it to which you can see for yourself if you visit the link http://www.gradyspitchingschool.com/ . With the success he has here, he decided to teach to others as well. He taught business classes in Massillon, but now teaches in his home town of North Canton at Hoover High School. There he is head of the business department and teaches a majority of the classes. Here he also teaches a senior level class called Business and Entrepreneurship, in this Junior Achievement class he has coached 3 teams to the National Student Leadership Summit in only 2 years. He still teaches at Hoover as well as maintaining his pitching school.

Grady’s Pitching School is a place where young players go to fine tune their baseball game. He focuses on pitchers, but has taken others as well. Here he has developed kids to reach their potential, he has coached many kids who have had very successful careers and kids throwing 90 mph fastballs at the age of 17 and 18. His business is run and maintained by him and him alone.

I believe he is a successful entrepreneur because there are plenty of trainers in the North East Ohio region and in the Stark County area, but he still has proven time and time again that his service is the best choice for your money. He also proves his success by the way he mentors his kids and customers on the diamond and in the classroom with his students showing much success as well during and after his classes.

Beau Kittredge: A hand in everything

Beau Kittredge is my personal role model. He plays professional Ultimate Frisbee for the Dallas Roughnecks, but is also his own boss in all his business ventures, and his work as an entrepreneur is very inspiring. Beau says that it is his desire to create and be creative is his driving factor.

He started his own company in 2010 called Beau’s Books. He both wrote and illustrated three children’s books, known for being wildly imaginative but also with a large teaching element. His books are true children’s books but readers, especially parents, have found that they can relate to the stories and the lessons taught by Beau’s stories.

His next entrepreneurship adventure is his current project, which is developing his own video game, called Boredom Bugs. Beau wanted to make a new type of puzzle game by combining the strategy of a tower defense game and the skill of a mini game. In 2015, he assembled a team and started a Kickstarter to help fund the development of Boredom Bugs. Although the Kickstarter was unsuccessful he continues work on it and has committed himself fully to the game.

Currently, aside from frisbee and video game development Beau is involved in E.R.I.C, which stands for Early Recognition Is Critical, a organization that teaches healthy living and recognition of cancer symptoms. E.R.I.C has partnered with Beau to provide Ultimate Frisbee clinics, places where kids who have never heard about Ultimate can learn the game as well as learning how to be healthy and live a good life.

I wear Beau Kittredge’s number in respect for his creativity, his desire to never give up on his dreams and his ultimate dream of teaching health and the game of Ultimate Frisbee.

 

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http://skydmagazine.com/2011/03/product-review-beaus-books/

http://skydmagazine.com/2016/08/announcing-eric-speak-up-tour/

Gladiator Lacrosse: Rachel Zietz

In 2013, at the age of only 13 years old, Rachel Zietz, a varsity high school lacrosse player, discovered the market for quality, durable lacrosse equipment for a less expensive price. After talking to investors she was given $2,700 to start her company. Her line of products is limited to rebounders and practice goals, in other words, she does not sell any personal equipment (pads, sticks, helmets, gloves, etc.). However, she has been very successful.

Her first year she sold $200,000 worth of equipment, and two years later Gladiator Lacrosse had over $1 million in revenue. She has been honored by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 for being a finalist for their Entrepreneur Award.

Rachel Zietz saw a problem: over-expensive, poor quality practice lacrosse equipment, and she fixed it, redesigning the netting and frames, to ensure durability. Her idea was simple and played into her area of expertise and passion, and fixed something which was an annoyance to many people, which fits perfectly with the entrepreneurship way.
She was young when she started her company, showing that age has no ceiling, (something that her parents who are also entrepreneurs in Florida, have been sure to impress upon her).

Personally, this is a very encouraging story for myself, just showing how youth is not a hindrance to anything, and that combining entrepreneurship and personal passions can have amazing outcomes.

 

 

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http://www.gladiatorlacrosse.com/

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/27/8-young-entrepreneurs-making-serious.html?slide=7

http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/print-edition/2015/02/20/how-14-year-old-rachel-zietz-built-a-1-million.html

Energy-Generating Soccer Ball

Soccer, known better throughout the world as football, is played more than any other sport. With this in mind, young entrepreneur Jessica Matthews invented a new kind of soccer ball. A ball that would revolutionize life for many children around the world. Her Invention combined the love of soccer and the need for electricity. This product allows children to play soccer while charging the ball so it can be used as an energy source later. Matthews said that, “If we just wanted to give people power, we’d just give them solar panels. The purpose is reaching people in a way that’s enjoyable and fun and exciting.” These soccer balls are priced at $99 which is a steep price, however, Matthews hope that people will see the benefit of this product and invest in them. She also hopes people will buy these balls and send them to other countries as a method of supporting impoverished kids. More information and pictures can be found at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2013/11/21/the-soccer-ball-that-helps-kids-in-underdeveloped-areas-finish-homework/

 

Double Trouble

When I was a little girl, my dad would call my twin sister and me “double trouble.” She and I both were constantly doing things together, especially bad things. I believe many other parents with twins can attest to that title being very accurate for the same reason too. I’m sure the parents of twin boys Ryan and Adam Goldston felt the same way.

I cannot attest to how well behaved they were as children, but both Ryan and Adam as young entrepreneurs seemed to cause some trouble. As mere 28 year olds, they had already created a product that had been banned from the NBA. As you can imagine, that created some interest in their company. So much interest that they sold out of nine months of inventory just 72 hours after their banning was announced.

I guess, you have to ask what an entrepreneur has to do to get his product banned from part of the sports industry. The answer to that would be to design the first pair of sneakers that allows you to jump higher and run faster. They call it “Load ‘N Launch,” and it is the first patented technology of its kind.

This duo got their idea from sports they had played all throughout high school and college. Once they graduated they started tinkering with the possibility of a shoe that could help the user. Eventually, they came up with this technology and the name of their company, Athletic Propulsion Labs or APL. These fancy shoes come in all kinds of colors, styles, and modifications for specific purposes. APL recently launched a clothing line too.

Ryan and Adam, partnered with each other to revolutionize the old industry of sneakers. They bring a new youthful fun flare to what appears to be a stagnant marketplace. It seems to me that they are a force to be reckoned with and already are becoming successful.

For more information, visit the site below

http://www.athleticpropulsionlabs.com/

 

 

 

Suja Juice: Four Diverse Entrepreneurs Come Together to Realize a Single Dream

Juice seems like an industry where there is nothing left to innovate. Almost every food can be juiced and it seems that there is a market for even the most bizarre mixtures. So if juice production has gone just about as far as it can, what did four Californians do in 2012 to completely revolutionize the way so many people think of fruit and vegetable juices? Two words: Cold-pressed.

Since 1864, the only way that most of the world would consume beverages was if they were pasteurized. Pasteurization has done great things for science and saved countless lives, however, while it kills bacteria, it also does away with the good vitamins and minerals, and completely changes the flavor of our food. People like two of Suja’s co-founders, Annie Lawless and Eric Ethans, were frustrated by the lack of pure, organic products on grocery store shelves. So Lawless and Ethans started their own local, juicing business. They loved the idea of producing non-GMO fruit and vegetable juices on a larger scale but they didn’t want to compromise the flavor or nutrients of the drinks. The only way for them to do that would be to process the juices using a cold press, or high pressure processing.

High pressure processing, or HPP, is a cold pasteurization technique which consists of subjecting food, previously sealed in flexible and water-resistant packaging, to a high level of pressure transmitted by water. HPP not only kills bacteria, but also keeps the flavor and nutrients of the beverage intact. They were familiar with cold-pressing or high pressure processing, but did not yet have the funds or means to produce it on a large enough scale to make any money.

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This is where Suja’s other two co-founders, James Brennan and Jeff Church, come in. When Brennan met Ethans he was instantly hooked on the juices. Inspired and searching for support he asked one of his previous partners, Jeff Church, to join the mission. Initially, Church was reluctant. “As a self-declared meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, I agreed to meet Ethans as a mentor but told him I probably wouldn’t like the juice. I tried it and it just stopped me in my tracks.”

Now with the more than willing help of serial entrepreneurs, Brennan and Church, everything seemed to come together for Lawless and Ethans. Since its inception in 2012, Suja Juice has become a national sensation, serving products in stores like Whole Foods and Target all over the country. In 2015, they made Forbes’ #2 spot in America’s Most Promising Companies and made an estimated $42 million in 2014, expecting it to have doubled in 2015. In an interview with Forbes in early 2014, the quarter stated that they owe much of their success to one of the only things the group has in common: their shared passion and belief in the juice they seek to sell.

There is so much to learn from entrepreneurs like these four. Not many people thought that it would be possible to produce non-pasteurized juices on this level, but here I am on the East Coast sipping on my own carrot juice produced by Suja in San Diego, California. Their passion for real organic, non-GMO food led them to completely revolutionize the juicing industry. They took a small, local business and brought it to the global level in just four years. Suja and its founders are being recognized by magazines such as Entrepreneurs and Forbes as hugely successful. What started off as two yoga instructors selling green smoothies to their friends turned into a multi-million dollar company. If that’s not entrepreneurship, I don’t know what it.

Grinds

Matt Canepa(right) and Pat Pezet (left) are San Francisco Bay Area natives who met as college baseball teammates at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Both Matt and Pat earned their degrees in Business Finance and Matt spent two years playing professional baseball for the Chicago Cubs.  One night while in college, the two students looked for something that would keep them awake for studying, after finding nothing but coffee grounds, they proceeded to put it in their mouths much like chewing tobacco.  However, it got all over their teeth and was pretty disgusting, so they decided to put the grounds in pouches and then in tins much like chewing tobacco, but without the nicotine or other dangerous side effects.  San Francisco Giants coach contacted the two entrepreneurs and told them he loved their product and that it might be saving his life.  This convinced the two to try to go big with the product they named Grinds. The duo appeared on Shark Tank to pitch their idea and ended up making a deal with Daymond John and Robert Herjavec.  This has propelled their product to the top of the tobacco substitute market.  The duo is hoping to go into the retail space very soon.

 

 grinds coffee pouches

TopChedLax

TopChedLax was founded by two Grove City College students in 2013, who are members of the Club Lacrosse team at Grove City. Daniel Casselli and Will Stumpf came up with an idea in their dorm rooms for a lacrosse clothing company focused on “shredding high cheese.”

They focused on the community of “lax bros” who do nothing but play lacrosse. It is a content driven company, in so far as, they understand the difficulties that are inherent in the clothing industry. They have differentiated themselves by driving the need for their product by painting a certain picture in the customers mind of who would wear this clothing. The consumer then, presumably, wants to fit this image so they buy their clothing.

In their own words,”Inspired by the sun drenched, salt stained, American born lax lifestyle, Top Ched Lax is the eye-catching clothing that will set you apart in a crowd. Our clothing may be too bold for most to pull off, but that is exactly what makes it so special for those who can. Ask yourself, do you have what it takes to be daringly different?”

So like the guys say “Top Cheddar is always Beddar.” it will be fascinating to see what they do with this brand.

Tennis for Life

Karolina Laquerquist, A Junior Entrepreneur major and Tennis player at Grove City College. Back home in Pittsburgh during the summertime, she herself is a tennis coach. She began when she was 15 years old. Her neighbor asked her if she could help get her little boy doing something other than having his nose stuck in his science books. Karolina began to coach this little boy and begin to bring out an athletic side of him that neither he or his mom knew he had before. From working with this boy, word spread and Karolina began to get more and more clients. Karolina now has 2 dozen private clients. She teaches on weekdays and on saturdays in the summer. Karolina has learned two important things while running this business. The first one is, the importance of mentors. She gives the credit to her high school coach as the one who taught her how to teach. The second thing that Karolina said she has learned is the importance of taking the Sabbath off. In Karolina’s words: “You need to be able to have a day to rejuvenate so that you can continue to do what you love”. Karolina has turned clients down because of this belief. Karolina’s price strategy is to keep her prices low. She begins each summer with special promotions in May to get clients in, and then also special promotions at the end of August so that she can continue to see her kids up until she has to come back to school. Her advertising for the business started out with email marketing, but now is mostly word of mouth. Besides coaching these kids, Karolina also coaches at a Country Club.  What drives Karolina is wanting to give these kids more passion. She wants to bring out the confidence in these kids, and take it to the next level. If you know of any young child who is seeking tennis lessons for the summer in Pittsburgh, look Karolina up on mygcc!