There are so many similarities when one compares the areas of entrepreneurship and sports. The team aspects, giving your best, challenging competition…the list goes on and on. And I for one firmly believe that athletics and leadership in one’s youth is extremely beneficial to your future career as an entrepreneur.
Some of you probably fantasy football. I know I do. Guys from my college freshmen dorm have for the past five years now(holy shit it doesnt feel long ago) have ran a fantasy football league. I have never been all that successful with this, however I do enjoy the competitiveness and managing aspects of it. Should I start this Pierre Garcon or that Justin Blackmon? My tight end Rob Gronkowski is still hurt, what do I do? This guy has been underperforming, should I cut him? And everyone knows the bye week quarterback.
Guys I just wanted to relate a personal situation I witnessed while working at Airbus. So as most of you know, I have been interning in Hamburg, Germany for Boeing’s archnemesis. While working here I have made tons of great friends from all over Europe and experienced so many different cultures and traditions.
One thing that reins pretty much supreme, regardless of which European country my co-workers and fellow interns come from is a love or appreciation for football(soccer).
Did you know 35 million US kids, aged 5-18 participate in organized sports(source). This is phenomenal. According to 2011 Census Data, there were approximately 79 million children in this age bracket. Forty four percent participation by our youth. America and Americans as a whole need to encourage this. With the overwhelming problem of obesity in our country, sports are a healthy outlet which also encourage team work, leadership, and effort…all qualities of successful workers.
So we had a “great” idea for an app, now what? We met with developers of course. After several unsuccessful endeavors we met Stephen. Immediately while talking to Stephen one thing was clear. He knew Android and app development very well.
Not wanting to disclose the entire idea for the “clever” app. A construct was created. The idea for Vespyr: the ultimate sports pickup app was formed. Some time soon after, we contacted Stephen and asked him to be a co-founder.
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I have been interested in programming since I was about 12 when I started Lego Robotics programming and continued learning other languages from there. I was born in Virginia, but I moved to Idaho when I was 8. It was an interesting place to live, and it is where I learned to ski and snowboard. By high school, I moved to Oak Ridge, TN, which is commonly known as the Secret City. This is a place that from the beginning has been really interested in science and technology, and it is where I diversified my interests and started my first company. I also worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory at the Spallation Neutron Source and had a blast there!
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So why do three seemingly random guys decide to join forces to make a sports app?
I had been working on my senior design project this semester at Tech and our team needed to brainstorm possible products to prototype. We thought of many great ideas such as a autonomous snow blower, a wheel chair which could go up and down stairs, a collapsible bike and a better car breathalyzer. All of this think, and the business lectures given in class kindled an entrepreneurial fire in me. I had never been enthralled with idea of becoming a slave to a large company, I like my independence.
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A lot of people have been wondering the process that goes into creating a app. Hopefully you guys can learn from our mistakes and failures. Initially the concept for Vespyr was much too broad. Business mentors told us to focus down to a niche, try to get a solid base of users. After long debates with said mentors, the team decided to follow their advice. Focus on sports! Make it great!