Why I invested in my latest start-up: MVP Genius
Maybe because I love helping grow businesses and love seeing people grow, I tend to receive quite a few requests for mentoring.
I’ve met some great people and businesses along the way, along with the odd tyre kicker. It’s fascinating seeing entrepreneurs at different stages of their business life along with differing skill sets, passions and expertise.
Unfortunately, I can’t help everyone and I’m not really in the business of selling my “time”.
However, while business coaching is simply not scalable, experience and networks are. For example, I can use my experience and networks to help multiple businesses grow fast. Note – for a true business coach, you want the guru himself, not some lacky with limited experience to share who simply follows a system written by someone else.
Having succeeded and failed while being totally obsessed with entrepreneurship, business, learning and growing my skills, experience and networks over the past 10 years, I’m confident in my ability to fast track growth across a number of different companies – regardless of industry, sector and size.
Having said that though, I still have a preferred profile of the people and business I like to back.
So why this start up?
We saw some guys building a sports website a year ago which we thought could be useful for Sports Grab. This is the correspondence:
January 30, 2012: “Hi Jared – I am one of the Sportsgrab guys! Your page looks interesting as it’s growing. Probably best if you come meet us for lunch one day. Give us a buzz. Thanks, Jono.”
January 31, 2012: “Jono, I work during the week from eight to five Monday to Friday, but we could either catch-up on a weekend?”
February 17, 2012: “Jono, would be great to meet you mate. Does next weekend work for you?”
My initial impression was: Good kid, works full-time, can’t be serious, hobby site. Come back to me when you’re fair dinkum.
Then I receive this six months later:
August 30, 2012: “Hi Jono, I now have a year off to work on my entrepreneurial projects, with a goal of continuing to do it for the rest of my life. As you can imagine, and I'm sure relate to, it's very motivating.
“I would love to catch up next week to talk about anything. Sportsgrab & SportsIQ could be a good starting point.
“I am looking for a mentor who can help me along this journey and would love to hear if you could help or point me in the direction of someone who might be able to.”
Okay, now we are talking. The kid is serious. He’s quit his job. That’s called backing yourself. The mental commitment to make that leap is tremendous. To sacrifice a nine-to-five salary to now working many more hours for nothing initially shows commitment.
After that correspondence and after a few nights of five-hour chats on Facebook, I saw some potential.
What happened then?
September 2012: Chatting, getting to know each other, some mentoring, understanding what they do and skills sets.
October 2012: We’ve worked out a business model and agreed to terms on building a business together.
Mid-October 2012: Started building the site and business model.
December 5, 2012 (six weeks later): Launched MVPGenius.com.au, generating hundreds of paying subscribers in the first few days.
MVP Genius is a site that provides winning sports tips for sports punters across multiple sports, with MVP awards covering AFL, cricket, tennis, horse racing, rugby, soccer (EPL), gridiron (NFL), basketball (NBA) and more. We sell monthly and yearly subscriptions and have a track record of achieving between a 20-60% return on investment on sports tips.
Key things I looked at:
Great guys, smart, well educated, well presented, great listeners, eager to learn and able to take instruction well: Genuine entrepreneurship with a burning desire to achieve.
They need some solid guidance. (Their previous site cost them a fortune, did nothing and was confusing). Their work ethic is extremely solid. They work all hours of the night and are willing to do the hard yards.
Responsive – to us as well as to their fans online. Complete dedication and commitment. Fun and passionate. Completely engaged in sports and sports betting with a level of obsessiveness. Non-extravagant and well grounded. Happy to save money and control living and lifestyle costs.
This combination of traits is a unique set of values which is the basis for any type of entrepreneurial success.
Ability to build a community online and build trust
The guys had a great ability to build an audience and following online with sports punters. They have various sports-specific Facebook groups and communicate regularly with sports punters. The guys have created a loyal following and have helped win people a lot of money by sharing free information.
The world is screaming out for content. People want content. They go to Facebook to see what others are saying and posting. There are not enough content creators. Start creating content (like I am doing right now) and your following will grow.
Create once, sell many
There’s a fixed cost in coming up with sports research, analysis and sporting tips. We are in the business of selling information online. There’s little cost in servicing one extra subscriber.
My internet marketing experience helped me realise that the biggest category online is helping people “make money”. Our tips “help people make money” – there’s instant correlation and value. The value is instantly justified.
The content is solid. There is a successful and verifiable track record. This is a not a scam or a “get rich quick” scheme. We did our due diligence to ensure we have a long-term future.
Our current businesses, including Sports Grab, have already opened up a number of opportunities for cross-fertilization through our contacts, networks, marketing channels and subscriber base in sport. We are also raving sports lunatics. I also believe that 1+1+1 = 100. Our combined skill sets offer an opportunity to grow really fast. Partners are great if they all add value and share the same values.
Global reach and scalability
The sports we cover include international sports such as English soccer, NBA and NFL with more international sports to come. All of a sudden, our potential subscriber base has enormous potential.
We are already targeting subscribers all over the world. MVP Genius is extremely scalable and we have already commenced global expansion.
Well done to our team of geniuses. So now we have the dream team and a dream business. I look forward to a successful journey together and keep an eye out on our progress!