http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7KIlSgi6q4&feature=share&list=PL547A483CDE937D99Olin Business School students at Washington University in St. Louis are engaged in the vibrant St. Louis startup community through entrepreneurship courses that give them hands-on experience working with innovative new companies like LockerDome. The social network for sports fans and athletes completed a $6 million round of financing and is on an explosive growth track with help from a professor and students at Washington University’s business school.
LockerDome CEO and cofounder Gabe Lozano shares some of the credit for attracting investors with
students at Olin Business School.
Student teams in one of Olin’s
venture consulting courses, taught by Clifford Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship, worked closely with LockerDome’s CFO, Mark
Lewis, on market and financial analysis research projects this
Lozano, founder of the popular St. Louis-based startup known as “Facebook for sports,” recently spoke to Olin students on campus.
During their analysis, the students demonstrated that the company was undervalued
with higher-than-expected revenue-generating potential.
“We used the
students’ comparative analysis in our latest round of financing,” Lozano
says. “And as our investors like to say, that might
have helped bump up our price a bit.”
LockerDome’s team has been on a record-breaking high with unique monthly users surpassing 10 million and successfully completing a $6 million Series A funding round – all in the last two weeks. The company also announced its first strategic parternership for ad sales with USA Today last month.
One of LockerDome’s major investors is Cultivation Capital, an
early-stage venture capital firm based in St. Louis and managed by
successful entrepreneurs, including Square founder Jim McKelvey and Holekamp. They both serve on LockerDome’s board.
Holekamp’s involvement in the St. Louis startup community as an investor, adviser and mentor provides a natural entree for
collaboration between the university, entrepreneurs and students.
Meeting and working with successful, young CEOs like Lozano is just
one of the advantages that students have in Olin Business School’s
entrepreneurial program. A new course launched this semester pairs
students with startups housed at T-REx, a tech incubator located in
downtown St. Louis.
Classes are held at the T-REx building and students work side by side
with entrepreneurs on a variety of projects from marketing plans to
financial analysis to product research. Other Olin venture consulting
courses offer students the opportunity to travel and work with startups
in Hungary and Israel.
Lozano concluded his classroom talk at Olin with a
confession that the students may find common among entrepreneurs around
the world. He said, while creating a startup, “You get no sleep, no
social life, and most days you feel like you were hit by a Mack Truck.”
But, he added, “I would do it all over again. It’s been the most
rewarding experience of my life.”