Founding Student Name(s): Blake Berg
Brief Description of Solution: StockSwap is like Daily Fantasy Sports for the stock market. Users enter into contests by paying an entry fee, picking and weighting stocks, and competing on percent change to win a share of the prize pool based on their rank at the end of the contest.
Funding Dollars: $350,000
What led you to launch this venture? Retail investors are begging for a place to have fun with the stock market. The current solution is risky margin and options trading. This is unacceptable.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with the venture? We launched and quickly added 2,000 users with a customer acquisition cost (CAC) of only $4.
How has your business-related major helped you further this startup venture? I learned how to manage a team, product and finances through small iterative steps that allow for mistakes and learning along the way.
Which business class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? The League of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs taught me to hack together a solution, fail fast, and learn faster.
What business professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why? Doug Villhard contributed to the organizational behavior of the company at an early stage. He inspired a culture of fast-paced testing before moving on to a slow build. We implement this in all areas of our business today.
What founder or entrepreneur inspired you to start your own entrepreneurial journey? How did he or she prove motivational to you? My dad inspired me to remain vigilant in my entrepreneurial efforts and always keep an eye out for opportunity. He has always kept a pulse on risk while pushing the barriers of different industries in order to immerse himself into new knowledge banks in a safe way. Knowing that the results may come slowly at first, he steadily learns over time, which compounds and leads to new ways of making money.
What is your long-term goal with your startup? I will grow StockSwap for 3-5 more years before selling to a gaming company looking to expand into finance.
How has your local startup ecosystem contributed to your venture’s development and success?
The St. Louis startup scene has been extremely important for the growth of StockSwap. Events I have attended have directly led to VC funding. There have also been conversations and speaker series that have prompted momentous changes in the company due to hearing new perspectives and tips from other founders.
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