The 6 months before July 2014 were an absolute cluster. It was my first attempt at entrepreneurship and I was all over the place. I was getting caught up in the “startup hype” and spending a lot of time at networking events instead of at home building a product. I was not being very productive nor was I having a lot of fun. I was lost.
So in July, I hit the reset button and set my sights on a new venture. This time though, I made a conscious decision to NOT tell anyone what I was working on until I had a real product in hand. I was just going to sit down, shut up, and work.
This “vow of silence” lead to some awkward conversations with friends but it’s actually what brought me back to me. It was a reminder of why I wanted to become an entrepreneur in the first place. I didn’t want to sit around daydreaming about ideas or discussing revenue models. I wanted to actually build something - something new that the world hopefully needed.
So that’s what I set my eyes on and after 10 months, the day has finally come where I can talk about it!
I wrote an app and it’s called Advantage Recruits (you can download it for free here). Its purpose is to provide recruits with inside information into the college recruiting process. The knowledge-base inside AR will be honest, unbiased, straight-forward, and relevant to a recruit’s specific situation and profile.
Example: one of AR’s current features is a free open forum w/ college athletic’s experts. A recruit can ask anything he/she like, from “Best way for a recruit to show interest in a program?” to “What to wear on an unofficial visit?”
Inside the app, they’ll find answers from former student-athletes and former (and current) college coaches.
FYI: All questions from recruits are posted anonymously to avoid any NCAA violations
I spent 10 years in college athletics watching families spend money on recruiting services that promised scholarships but did nothing more than mass mail cookie-cutter resumes to college coaches. Anytime I received one of these emails, I would sigh in frustration and ask myself,
“Why? Why do recruits continuously enlist these services? Don’t they know they could be spending that money more wisely?”
It was an unsettling feeling — watching this happen and not being able to do anything about it. Recruits should be spending that money on unofficial visits, tournament entry fees or camps, where they would actually be face-to-face with a coach.
Unfortunately, the recruiting process is so nuanced that it’s a struggle for recruits (and their parents) to simply find a starting point. And so, it makes sense that when someone comes along and promises them scholarship offers in exchange for a couple thousand dollars… it’s hard not to take the bait.
But education to better yourself should not come with a hefty price tag.
There needs to be a reliable, unbiased, and cost-efficient source of information available to the public that provides guidance for young athletes of all skill levels and more importantly, all income backgrounds.
And THAT is what I am striving to accomplish with Advantage Recruits. I want AR to play that role by providing recruits and their families a tool to take control of the recruiting process. Through technology, we can find creative ways to empower young athletes and remove the existing barriers to education that prevent them from having the transparency they deserve.