$700k Raised For App That Connects Brands to High School Athletes

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In Episode #210, Nathan speaks with Brian Verne, CEO of Phenom, former college baseball player, and native of Cleveland, Ohio. Listen as Nathan and Brian chat about life as a college athlete, and why big time athletic brands are starting to sponsor high school athletes when they once only cared about the pros.

CEO of Phenom, 500 Startups Batch 16, Oberlin College ’09, former college baseball player, born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? – The Art of Fielding
  • What CEO do you follow?— N/A
  • What is your favorite online tool?— Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?—Understand how difficult it is to build a business.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:17 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 01:35 – Welcoming Brian to the show
  • 01:45 – What Phenom is
  • 03:35 – How Phenom makes money
  • 04:01 – Phenom gives young athletes the ability to connect with large brands
  • 04:38 – Currently connected with Wilson
  • 05:18 – The payment model between Phenom and Wilson
  • 06:04 – Currently have 60K users
  • 06:50 – defining an “active” user
  • 08:49 – There’s a massive psychological connection between gear and performance
  • 11:15 – Brian talks about supporting himself in lieu of revenue
  • 12:32 – Right now, Brian is taking down $30K per year
  • 13:28 – Maxing out credit cards, getting down the last penny—but it’s worth it
  • 15:18 – Brian is 28
  • 16:00 – Instagram is the basis of Phenom’s business

3 Key Points:

  1. Building a business is a bitch—never forget it.
  2. Don’t quit just because the money isn’t “there”—make whatever personal cuts you need to keep the momentum going.
  3. Parlay life lessons into your business.

Resources Mentioned:

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