Alumni secure corporate funding on ‘Shark Tank’

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Mike Doyle CEO Mike Doyle, left, and co-founder Drew Mitchell landed a deal with the popular ABC show, “Shark Tank,” for their company, Rent Like a Champion.Rent Like a Champion is a housing rental company that targets fans traveling to college towns for games and other major events.  Doyle and Mitchell initially asked the sharks for an investment of $200,000 for a 10 percent equity stake, and eventually, Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca matched their terms. “The whole ‘Shark Tank’ experience was surreal,” Doyle said.Although the episode aired on Oct. 30, Doyle said it was filmed in June. The deal with Cuban and Sacca was signed in late August after the due diligence process.Doyle said he became involved with the business by managing student apartment rentals as an intern during his time as undergraduate at Notre Dame. “We realized there’s a huge market for people who want to rent homes on game weekends,” Doyle said.Doyle said Rent Like a Champion began in South Bend, but expanded to other college towns when he realized the scalability of the business model.“We can do this not just at Notre Dame, but we should be doing this at Penn State, at Michigan, at Florida State, all of these college towns around the country where this service makes sense,” he said.This approach led to rapid growth, Doyle said, with an average growth rate of 80 percent over the last three years and a projected revenue of $4.1 million for 2015.“It’s gone from me knocking on doors at Penn State to a team of seven employees,” Doyle said.Although Rent Like a Champion was already quite successful, Doyle said “Shark Tank” represented a chance to rapidly accelerate their expansion from their current 21 towns to around 40.“We see ‘Shark Tank’ as this opportunity to take things to the next level,” he said. “We’ve gotten to this point with a nice business that’s working really well, but the sharks are the most incredibly smart and accomplished business people you could possibly meet and they know how to bump businesses up a notch or two.”Cuban and Sacca actively help Rent Like a Champion, Doyle said, by providing advice and support.“They’re super plugged-in and very involved in the business,” Doyle said.In explaining his plans for the future of Rent Like a Champion, Doyle said it is important to note that opportunities for the big event rental paradigm exist beyond college sports.“There’s definitely a model for this outside of just college sports towns, so any big time events that happen with regularity in smaller towns like NASCAR races, PGA tour events, concerts, and even Democratic and Republican National Conventions make sense with our model,” Doyle said.Despite Rent Like a Champion’s track record of success and its plans to expand, an investor on “Shark Tank” episode expressed concern about competition from Airbnb and other companies.However, Doyle said Rent Like a Champion has a unique business model that differentiates it from Airbnb.“We’re really event-focused, they’re really destination-focused,” he said.Notre Dame senior David O’Connor interned at Rent Like a Champion for the past two years and worked to help establish its identity in a market that Airbnb does not serve.O’Connor said this process involved focusing on what their customers wanted and using this information to attract them.“The first summer I was there it was a lot of figuring what works and what doesn’t work,” O’Connor said.O’Connor said a vital priority for the company was making potential renters in college towns comfortable with their online business model.“The demographic tends to be older people with no kids, as opposed to [the typical customers of] Airbnb, 34-year-old young professionals looking to make another $200 a month. We’re trying to get [our customers] accustomed to this digital sharing economy,” O’Connor said.Ultimately, O’Connor said the hard work behind Rent Like a Champion has paid off with its robust growth.Doyle also said the “Shark Tank” experience was a validation of the effort he and his co-founders put into Rent Like a Champion. However, he said they did not plan on being chosen for … “Shark Tank” because the competition for spots on the show was so rigorous.“We didn’t want to put all of our eggs in that basket because we didn’t know if we were one of ten companies vying for spot or one of 1,000 vying for spot,” he said. “There was definitely some ambiguity about how likely this actually was to happen.”Despite the odds, Rent Like a Champion made it onto “Shark Tank,” and Doyle said the final result was exactly what he and Mitchell hoped for.“In a dream situation, if we could have any we wanted, we would do a deal with Mark and Chris together.” Doyle said. “So the fact that Chris pulled Mark into a deal meant it really couldn’t have worked out any better for us.”Tags: ABC, Rent Like a Champion, Shark Tank The opportunity to appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank” is offered to a select number of entrepreneurs, but even fewer are able to close a deal with a shark and secure funding for their company.Notre Dame alumni Mike Doyle and Drew Mitchell were able to do both on an episode of “Shark Tank” when they pitched their business, Rent Like a Champion, and landed a deal with Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca.last_img read more

First doubleheader of season this weekend for PASS

first_imgThe following weekend, April 12 and 13, PASS will make the first of its two scheduled appear­ances at the venerable Williams Grove Speedway, which celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2019 on Friday night.  BAPS and Port Royal are the two speedways appearing most often on PASS/IMCA’s 42-race 2019 schedule, with nine races scheduled at each track. Ten raceways appear are scheduled to race at least once. A 40-car field or even better is expected Saturday, April 6 when PASS is at Port Royal Speedway for that venue’s first night race of the season. Gates open at 4 p.m. and racing is set to start at 6 p.m. at the historic Juniata County Fairgrounds track.  Pennsylvania Sprint Series drivers have a pair of races on the docket this weekend, Saturday at Port Royal Speedway and Sunday at BAPS Motor Speedway. (Photo by Brian Rhoad) Again, the field will include multiple former BAPS winners and members of this year’s rookie class.  Zach Newlin, last year’s point champion, is among those planning to be on hand, as are several other former Port Royal winners and a good selection of 2019’s large rookie field.  PORT ROYAL, Pa. – The first two-race weekend of the season for the IMCA RaceSaver Pennsylva­nia Sprint Series should bring out the largest sprint car fields seen so far in 2019 in Cen­tral Pennsylvania. On Sunday, BAPS Motor Speedway in York County, now 65 years since its opening, will feature an all-open wheel racing night. More than 30 pre-entries have been received for this show, which will begin at 5 p.m. The series then makes its second of eight visits to Path Valley Speedway on Saturday. Ken Duke Jr. inaugurated the 2019 season with a win at Path Valley on March 23.last_img read more

Proud Phobian: Bernard Avle is Hearts of Oak’s latest signing

first_imgElvis Herman Hesse, Chapters Committee Chairman for Accra Hearts of Oak and Communications Director, Opare Addo earlier today [5th June 2020] presented the General Manager of Citi FM and Citi TV, Mr. Bernard Avle with a replica jersey of the club.The club officials who described Mr. Avle as a “proud Phobian” added that Mr. Bernard Avle has  “truly demonstrated his love and passion for the club”The Football club in a post on Twitter also described the host of Citi FM’s Breakfast show and Citi TV’s Point of View show as a “die in the wool” Phobian.Hearts of Oak today made a presentation to a die in the wool Phobian, Bernard Avle, host of Citi FM’s Morning Show and, he truly demonstrated his love and passion for the club. Bernard is indeed a proud Phobian.🔴💛🔵#AHOSC— Phobians (@HeartsOfOakGH) June 5, 2020The gesture by the club has since ignited a footballing conversation on social media site, Twitter with many including musician Manifest, joining in to show their support for the club.Phoooobia 🏆— M.anifest – #WeNoDeyHear (@manifestive) June 5, 2020Bernard Avle earlier this year in February declared his love for the rainbow team on Citi FM’s breakfast show, leading to a conversation that ignited a football fanbase discussion on the country’s most listened to English morning radio show.A true super excited @benkoku receives a branded jersey from Hearts of Oak..Aloski.🔴💛🔵#AHOSC— Phobians (@HeartsOfOakGH) June 5, 2020Mr. Bernard Avle in a post on Facebook and twitter, also thanked the club for the gesture with a quote from the club’s famous tagline, “until the bones are rotten”Elvis Herman Hesse, the Chapters Committee Chairman for @HeartsOfOakGH and Comms Director Opare Addo surprised me with a customised jersey today.Never say die until the bones are rotten! Phoooobia!— Bernard Avle (@benkoku) June 5, 2020Accra Hearts of OakAccra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club is a professional sports club based in Accra (Greater Accra), Ghana.The club was founded on 11 November 1911. Hearts of Oak won their first major match in 1922 when Sir Gordon Guggisberg, Governor of the Gold Coast, founded the Accra Football League. Hearts won 6 out of 12 seasons in this league.In 1956, Hearts joined the Ghanaian football league and have flourished since.In the year 2000, Hearts of Oak won the Ghana FA cup, the Ghana Premier League and for the first time in their history the CAF Champions League.This was the most successful year in the Clubs’ history.–By: Jude Duncan Tags: Bernard AvleHearts of Oaklast_img read more

Taiwan rated as worlds friendliest country

first_imgVarious surveys over several years have rated Taiwan as one of the friendliest countries in the world. Every traveller who has visited Taiwan insists on how welcoming the people are, how helpful ever citizen can be, how safe the streets are and how fantastic the food is.There are several factors that contribute towards making Taiwan a friendly destination. Firstly, friendly local people means it’s easy to get around, ask for directions and find people to hang out with. Even sometimes if the language is an issue or there is a communication gap, Taiwanese people go out of their way to help out.Secondly is the cost of living. A highly industrialised, developed and modern nation, the rate of exchange works in the Indian traveller’s favour. 1 Taiwanese Dollar equals 2 INR which means items like food, drink; experiences such as dining in restaurants, entry into attractions and theme parks; and hotel rooms are affordable for the India travellers who can enjoy a complete holiday experience in Taiwan.Thirdly, Taiwan is a very safe country even for a solo traveller. So you don’t have to restrict yourself to what is recommended in guide books only and can do off-beat activities or something else which is unexplored or sounds interesting to you.last_img read more

Ferguson Commission Members Announced Will They Tackle Race

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares November 18, 2014; St. Louis Post-DispatchThree hundred people applied to be on the “Ferguson Commission” created by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to do something—what, exactly, isn’t clear—about the social and economic conditions that have been linked to the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown and the subsequent protests against Ferguson’s nearly all-white government and police departments, the militarized police response to the protests, and perhaps the cluelessness of some of the region’s political leaders about the racial tensions occurring under their noses.Yesterday, Nixon swore in the 16 people he selected for the commission:Source: St. Louis Post-DispatchThe Post-Dispatch provided the list of members, as well as excerpts from their statements of why they wanted to serve:Rev. Starsky Wilson (@ReverendStarsky), co-chair of the commission, president and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation: “The work of this commission aligns with the work of Deaconess Foundation, which I lead, to advance the health of the region and its people through effective alignment of philanthropic, social service and governmental resources and policies.” Rev. Wilson, as readers may remember, was one of a group of national foundation leaders who issued a statement recently to government officials on how to respond to protests in the wake of a grand jury decision.Rich McClure, co-chair of the commission, former president of UniGroup, chair of the St. Louis Regional Board of Teach for America: “I am deeply committed to making St. Louis a stronger and fairer place for all”Rev. Traci deVon Blackmon, pastor, Christ the King United Church of Christ; coordinator of faith-based initiatives for BJC HealthCare: “I believe in the inherent good of all people and, although there are many systemic and structural challenges that must be addressed, commitment, collaboration, and authentic conversation will lead us toward the Ferguson that some residents experience and other residents only imagine.”Daniel Isom, director, Missouri Department of Public Safety, former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department chief: “As a former police officer, police chief, father, and lifelong resident of this area, I want to make sure we seize this opportunity to make St. Louis a better place for everyone to live and achieve their dreams.”Scott Negwer, president, Negwer Material: “I am passionate about enabling those who are disadvantaged to succeed, and I am passionate about the well-being of North County.”Bethany A. Johnson-Javois, CEO, St. Louis Integrated Health Network: “Bottom line, it’s time to address the systemic inequities in our municipalities, in our region and in our great state.”Gabriel E. Gore, partner, Dowd Bennett: “My hope is that the end result of the events that have led to the recent social unrest in our community will be that we grow stronger and more connected as a community.”Brittany N. Packnett (@MsPackyetti), executive director, Teach for America in St. Louis: “Since August 9th, I have worked to intensively listen to the needs of the community, especially our students and young people, to represent their voice and our collective truth through multiple outlets to establish tactical solutions like Teach For Ferguson, and to coordinate peaceful protests to promote the value of our children’s lives.”Rose A. Windmiller, assistant vice chancellor, government and community relations at Washington University: “The question we must face is this: are we actively engaged with members of our community who are, by virtue of visible and invisible barriers, less able to take full advantage of the educational, healthcare and economic benefits that many of us accept as standard?”Rasheen Aldridge Jr. (@SheenBean32), student, Forest Park Community College; director, Young Activist United St. Louis; student co-chair on Missouri Jobs with Justice: “I want to get to the root of the issues in Ferguson, Shaw and the whole city on why individuals feel like they are targets to the police and the whole system…I work with all different ages, races and religions and understand the importance of how all people work and play together. I hope with the Commission we will be able to solve and come up with real solutions of the problems that are affecting people of all colors and how to make St. Louis a place that people love and feel like they belong in their own city.”Grayling Tobias (@GraylingTobias), superintendent, Hazelwood School District: “This situation is more than just about North St. Louis County, it is about improving relations between all races, creeds ethnic and social economic backgrounds.”Becky James-Hatter (@BeckJamesHatte), president and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri: “(W)ith courage, fair minds and persistence, we can face our region’s toughest challenges, build more trusting relationships and ensure greater opportunities for our children, teens and young adults”Felicia Pulliam, Development director, FOCUS, the region’s executive leadership program: “I am not one of the usual participants, whose perspectives and agendas are recycled over and again in nearly every situation.”Kevin Ahlbrand, 31-year veteran St. Louis police officer and deputy commander of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis: “I look forward to being part of the process to identify issues and seek solutions which will build trust and bring our communities and law enforcement closer together in our efforts to keep our citizens safe.”Patrick Sly, Manager, Emerson Charitable Trust: “I want to join the Ferguson Commission to help support and heal the community and to represent Emerson which has a vested interest in supporting our ‘home town.’”T.R. Carr, Professor and former chair of the Department of Public Administration and Policy Analysis at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, former mayor of Hazelwood: “It is important to effectively communicate with the law enforcement community as strategies are developed for this region. I can help serve as a bridge in this area.”It may be due to the excerpts chosen for publication by the Post-Dispatch, but the printed statements of the members other than Aldridge, the obviously youngest member of the commission, don’t specifically address race as one of the underlying issues to be understood and confronted. The statements from Windmiller and Johnson-Javois suggest that the inequities that some people in metropolitan St. Louis experience aren’t simply happenstance, but systemic, and both overt and covert in their causes. Their comments also suggest an awareness of the structural racism issues that were reflected in the Ferguson dynamics.We’ve included in this newswire some of the Twitter handles for members of the commission, which we presume that the Post-Dispatch printed so that its readers could reach out to them with ideas and suggestions. We suggest the same: Tweet these members and tweet NPQ as well (@NPQuarterly) to let them and us know what you think the commission could and should do.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more