Hey Guys, I have an interesting interview with a young entrepreneur currently studying in his 2nd year at Canterbury Christ Church University, Finally met him whilst shooting for the Business dynamics show i told you guys about, anyways we got chatting and i realised what a cool and down-to-earth guy he is, although i spent most of the day stretching my neck to look up to him.
Anyways, Enjoy the interview and let me know your thoughts..
Hey Stephan, How are you doing? Thanks for doing this interview with me.
I’m fine thank you. Just enjoying life and thanking God. Thanks very much for having me.
Before we get into your business and what you do? Can you briefly give us some background information about yourself?
Well I’m currently a 2nd year student at Canterbury Christ Church University. I'm studying theology and Health. I know it’s an unlikely combination, but I had my heart set on going to University to do something I would be interested in. I used to play basketball in Durham and Bristol I have also played in Ghana and France and various camps. I’m a practising Christian and enjoy reading my Bible and going to church, that mostly sums me up.
What inspired you to start the business?
Most of my family are into business. My Dad owns properties, one of my Sisters has to two online businesses and the other one is in the process of starting up her cake business. My main inspiration came from my struggle as a Basketball player.
I was offered two Basketball scholarships last year, one I rejected and the other one fell through due to timing. That experience made me come up with the concept of Get Pro as a beneficial and successful way to help players take that step in the right direction, without having to worry about things such as extensive fees. More importantly, it gives room for more with regards to Schools, Colleges and playing for Professional teams.
Tell us more about your company? What role do you play in your business?
Get Pro is an Online advertisement business, made available to web use on a subscription basis. It aims to establish links between players and coaches.
Our objective is to promote players globally at all levels of Basketball. We aim to achieve this by showcasing players on our website, made accessible for coaches to view 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, further reinforcing our notion of building bridges between the players and the coaches.
We have 2 separate sectors within the company which are also used to further promote the GetPro organisation; GetPro.TV , a production that broadcasts interviews with up and coming basketball players,
and a GetPro Clothing line which will be coming out in the summer.
My role as chairman and director is making all the main decisions in the company and paying close attention to the steps we need to take to reach the objectives of our company.
How many people are involved in the business at the moment?
Aside from myself, there are two other people who are active participants in the business. We are still growing and most likely taking on more staff as we work towards expansion.
A lot of people are looking for investors who believe in their start-ups and you’ve actually managed to get investments from angel dens, how did that come about?
Angels Den is an effective organisation in that they help people find investors through their website and the speed funding event. The event has a host each month across the UK, and in March, I attended one of their sessions.
During the course of the day, we were addressed by Bill morrow the founder of Angels Den. He encouraged me by saying he liked my idea so I thought I'd sign up. I recall a gentleman who also had his idea assessed and was told that his idea wouldn’t work with the Investors, which made me a bit nervous! Thankfully, it all went well in the end .
If you believe you have a good idea I would advise you to check out Angles Den. Just make sure you know your numbers and how your Investor can get a return on his money.
Were you nervous? How was the experience?
At the start of the speed funding event I was nervous because there were 12 tables and 2 Angels den representatives at each table. With the first 4 tables I was a bit nervous but my confidence grew as we progressed and it went well from their! Praise God!
What steps do you think anyone looking for investments and investors should take?
Way out your options. A lot of people say that they don’t want to give up on their company. Look at the benefits of having an Investor; They are allocated to enhance resources such as Contacts, Capital and to add a structure that is easy to adhere to, for your business, a valuable tool given from a person who is more experienced. There are however, alternative financial options such as grants and awards. For myself personally, they weren't suitable for the route I chose to follow.
With an Investor you have to make sure you know your niche market in and out. How much money you need, what you are going to use the money for, and how the Investor is going to make the money back plus a potential profit within a time frame of 3-5 years.
How important is it for young entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs in generals to have a mentor? What are the benefits?
I believe it’s very important because there is allot of stuff entrepreneurs miss because of the excitement of having a new idea. My mentor Nigel Steward brought me down to earth and set me realistic goals that I could achieve. I went to see him in his office every week without fail always having something new to show him e.g. new business plan, marketing strategy I was very naive and didn’t know allot but he explained the concept of my business. And also tested me to see if I was serious about the idea or just liked the idea but wasn’t really going anywhere with it.
How important is a business plan, in either succeeding as an entrepreneur or getting an investor on board?
My mentors advised me that less is more. Investors will be less than likely to read a 16 page business plan. And that’s what I started off with, so I had to narrow it down to 5 pages the first page of a business plan is the most crucial and then the back which has the cash flow and profit and loss. And I think that is what most Investors will look for if you’re seeing them first time.
When should we be expecting the launch of the website? You said in an earlier interview that the launch for it was supposed to be in February? What’s happening at the moment?
Yes the launch has been delayed due to further work on the content that the website is going to have. At the moment we are on target for ending March early April.
How involved are the angels in the business? What support have you got from them excluding the capital?
I have received a lot of financial advice and also made good contacts with people through my Angel. And I hope many more with the grace of God.
I know you’re in your second year at the university, so how are managing your time between setting your business and university’s exams, coursework?
I don’t really sleep that much, which doesn’t affect me so much surprisingly! I want my business to succeed and these are the kinds of sacrifices you have to make. I would like to finish University as soon as possible in order to focus on my business full –time, but right now it’s not affecting me so much. In University people spend a lot of time procrastinating and only if they spend less time doing that, then can they progress forward to pursue things.
What has been the hardest part of setting up the business?
So far, I haven't been faced with any challenges and I've thoroughly enjoyed the lead up to where I am standing now. Its all been a blessing from God so I can’t complain about things. I believe that any good or bad experience is one to get closer to God and your inner man. It makes you stronger so there is only a benefit in it.
What’s the next step for you now?
My next step is to put GetPro on the lips of every basketball player. We have a lot of promotion plans and tournaments to prepare for this year and next. We want to partner up with top basketball brands and just promote this site as much as we can.
What tips would you like to give upcoming entrepreneurs?
The Principle in life that I follow is “Whatever you sow, you reap.” and if you believe in your idea and follow it through it should be a success.
Thanks for your time Stephan.
Check out the website: GetproBasketball