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By Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
202.238.2509/ 2631      
Howard Student Entrepreneurs Head to Canada for Global Business Plan Contest

In October, Golden Eye Recruiting won the $10,000 second-place award in the 2012 UCCS Sports/Outdoors Business Plan competition

WASHINGTON – A team of Howard University students will compete in the Queen's Entrepreneurs’ Competition in Ontario, Canada from Jan. 17-19. Through the contest, students hope to further their entrepreneurial dream of developing a recruiting services business that focuses on college-bound athletes.

The Howard team is comprised of friends from the College of Arts and Sciences -- William Mannie and Raleigh Fatoki, economic seniors, and Thomas Burrell and Jordan Taylor, seniors who are majoring in sports management. Their business, Golden Eye Recruiting, involves creating a web platform to enable high school athletes to better connect with college coaches, share videos and sports stats, and other recruiting data.

In October, Golden Eye Recruiting won the $10,000 second-place award in the 2012 UCCS Sports/Outdoors Business Plan competition. In the upcoming competition in Canada, the Howard students will face 18 undergraduate teams selected from across the globe for a $15,000 prize.

“Our service is not just geared toward the top-tier schools,” Mannie said. “We are also trying to sell our services to Division II and Division III schools. We are trying to improve the overall efficiency of college recruiting and give every high school football player an opportunity to play at the next level.”

The students sought the help of the District of Columbia Small Business Development Center (DC SBDC), which is headquartered on Howard University’s main campus. Last year, the DC SBDC served more than 400 small businesses throughout the city and helped clients garner $4 million in capital formation. Mannie said he and his partners sought the center’s help as a follow-up to a suggestion from a Howard professor.

The student entrepreneurs came up with the idea after attending the 2012 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference where they gained a greater appreciation of how analytics was changing sports and business. According to the plans for Golden Eye Recruiting, data on athletes would be collected at high-school football showcase events in the region. The service would be free to athletes. The Howard students hope to raise $100,000 for the project and to launch a web site next month.

The Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ is well-known internationally, and has been described as one of the longest-running and best-known undergraduate business plan competitions in the world. This year’s competition marks its 25th year.

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