EndorsEase on the Competition Circuit in Cincinnati

The following post is synopsis of a brief interview with EndorsEase cofounders David Fishel (WSMC 2013) and Lauren Berkema (MAcc) following their trip to Cincinnati for the Spirit of Enterprise Competition. Teammate (and cofounder) Tony Cresta (WSMC 2013) was not available at the time.
Last week, two OMBA’s and a MAcc student had the opportunity to travel to the University of Cincinnati to compete in the UC Center for Entrepreneurship Spirit of Enterprise Graduate Business Plan Competition. David Fishel, Tony Cresta, and Lauren Berkema had a tough journey to and from Ohio thanks to some winter weather, but ultimately the team arrived on Thursday night eager to present their business, EndorsEase, to the judges at hand.
According to the Facebook page, “EndorsEase is the Match.com for underrepresented athletes and businesses to create endorsement opportunities.” In a nutshell, the team wants to help professional athletes and businesses create meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships that may otherwise go unnoticed. What the team learned during their time in Cincinnati was that quantifiable data can be difficult to come by, but are essential to proving yourself to investors. While judges loved the team’s presentation and concept, they wanted more clear evidence to measure business applicability and revenue generation. This unfortunate hangup led EndorsEase to finish 2nd in their group (to the eventual champion of the competition) and miss out on the finals.
Despite the disappointment of missing finals, and the 22 hour trip back to Eugene, the team left the weekend on a positive note. It was a great bonding experience outside of the typical routine of classes and team meetings, and the team is optimistic about their chances at the Stuart Clark Venture Challenge in Winnipeg next month. Lauren Berkema noted that “…we all learned a lot about what it takes to be in the competition space, and what other teams are bringing to the table… We were able to get feedback that let us know what we need to work on with our business model, and how we can better present information in the future. Besides it taking 22 hours to get back to Eugene from Cincinnati it was fun learning more about our business and each other!”

Written by Andrew White

Andrew is an MBA Candidate in the Center for Sustainable Business Practices. A native of Massachusetts, he came to UO to refine his business skills and build his expertise in the sustainability arena. His primary interest is in helping organizations implement environmentally and socially sustainable strategies for long-term success, and he is a regular participant on many of the MBA intramural sports teams.