NextPlay Connects Student Athletes, Alumni with Unique Platform

Student athletes have many opportunities to network and market. And connecting with alumni can help them make the most of these opportunities. NextPlay offers a unique platform to foster these connections and more. Read about this unique offer in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What does the business do

It offers customized mobile platforms for teams and student-athletes.

CEO Kyle Mumma told Small Business Trends: “In a way, the NextPlay platform looks like LinkedIn. It’s a means to share content and make professional connections. The main difference is in the exclusivity of each community. A network of private affinity for a specific team or program where networking and involvement are driven in part by shared experience as athletes. “

Business niche

Offering an easy way to connect with current and former athletes.

Mumma says, “Our platform is a hub for former players to stay committed to their team, current players to learn from those who preceded them, and programs to build a legacy that lasts beyond the game for the rest of the world. their lives. ”

History of business origin

After working with student athletes at Duke University.

Mumma explains, “As an undergraduate student at Duke University, I worked as a student director for the men’s basketball team under legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski. I remained on the team’s staff after graduation.And then he also worked for the football team.Keeping involved in Duke Athletics through graduate school at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

“After graduating from Fuqua in the spring of 2018, I had a full-time job offer from Deloitte (one of the four largest accounting firms in the country) at the company’s consulting firm. it started in the fall.Then August came and I took an abrupt turn.Instead of getting the job done, I decided to focus my attention on finding a solution to the many challenges college athletes face when it’s time to leave his sport behind “.

Biggest victory

Getting your first customer.

Mumma says, “We had several schools expressing interest in our services from the beginning. But it was finally a cold email at Campbell University that led to our first sale. The first dollar for a startup always “It’s special. But especially in an athletic industry where so many people act based on what their competitors are doing. We had to get a paying customer on board in order to have legitimacy. And Campbell was willing to take a risk with us.” which immediately helped us incorporate additional customers “.

The biggest risk

Do not hire a CTO during the early stages.

Mumma adds: “There was pressure from investors, partners and customers to bring the development home as soon as possible and to hire an experienced CTO. But the cash position of the business simply made it impossible. Instead of rushing. us in a relationship with an inexperienced CTO to appease these stakeholders, we built the foundations of our platform with an external development partner.Considering the lack of technical expertise of our founding team, this could easily have been counterproductive with a poorly made product that did not have the necessary infrastructure for the scale.

“Fortunately, we took the time to consider a wide variety of third-party partners. And we consulted with technical experts in the space. Although we had no internal technical experience, the accumulated experience of our network allowed us to select a quality development partner and build an excellent product. We still work with our original development partner. “

Lesson learned

Waiting too long to grow.

La Mumma explains, “At first we could have grown faster. There’s a tendency to wait for customer feedback until the product is ‘finished.’ But it never really really ends. viable, you will be able to get feedback that will be very valuable for the next iteration “.

How they would spend an additional $ 100,000

Construction of infrastructure for university athletes to be compensated for their name, image or likeness.

Mumma says, “If we had an additional $ 100,000, we would invest in our NIL infrastructure so that schools could leverage our powerful networks not only for alumni participation, networking, and mentoring. But also to meet the NIL opportunities “.


Knowledge of a legendary coach.

Mumma says, “The name and purpose of our company are inspired by the ‘Next Play’ philosophy of Duke’s legendary men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who encourages players to look to the future instead of the past.”

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Image: NextPlay, Kyle Mumma

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