Keith had the vision of a dating app that combined sports and online dating back when he was in collge. It wasn’t until after he was married, that his wife pushed him to pursue his idea stating “if you made this app in college we would have met 5 years sooner”. He then formed the team that was able to make his vision into reality. Keith runs the day to day operations of the app and the social media marketing campaigns and ambassador programs.
Where did the idea for Draftmate.io come from?
I came up with the idea when I was in college. I played college football and would always date either soccer players or softball players. When I left college I joined a lot of the dating apps and realized there was no way for me to find ex athletes or sports fans. The only category was hobbies which doesn’t encompass the passion people have for sports. Whether you played it competitively or just are a die hard fan, there is a passion there that is much stronger than a hobby or activity you enjoy. To have a shared passion with someone is a strong building block to a lasting relationship. I only thought about this idea of a sports fan and athlete dating app until I met my wife (who was a tennis player and football fan) and she pushed me to pursue my idea with a simple line of “had you made this app back in college we would have met 5 years sooner”.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts at 6am with a strategy session with my team discussing the updates to the app that cofounder Lowell was working on over night. We plan the days tasks for social media post interviews and partnership/investor meetings for each of us to take on and break for the day. We reconnect at 5pm to discuss the news for the day from each task and schedule most of the partnership meetings for this time or for our 7 or 9pm call.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We are a very action minded team. We build off eachother and when an idea comes up we action it right away. If we see that it has legs and can develop into something we will look to hire someone to help us carry out that idea or task so we are not spread to thin.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The biggest trend that is exciting for our sector is the exponential rise in the female sports fan. 5 years ago the ratio was 75-25 and it has risen to almost 50-50 in the past 2 years. With the most sports fans in the world the stronger hold we will have on the space.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I have a habit of taking action while on ideas the moment that manifest. I learned my lesson of sitting on DraftMate for 10 years not to action an idea as soon as it comes up. Some ideas end up not making it but we are always moving forward.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do not listen to people that are nay sayers, they plant the seed of doubt and can prevent you from achieving greatness. The only person that knows your worth early on is yourself, your first start up business is your personal brand. Keep moving forward and don’t look back.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Early on now one said that we would be able to create an app and have it in the app store in less than 100 days. We went from an idea in late July to an app that was being tested in the app store by Oct 25th. We pushed through beta testing and changed our layout completely and had our soft launch on iOS 5/1/2020.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Keep to a schedule and do not take a day off. When you are early on in your journey the are many different detractors that will kill your business before it starts. If you don’t have a defined schedule you may skip over some tasks here and there and eventually you are doing the bare minimum to stay afloat. By having a define schedule you will keep the routine and you are far more productive when you bring people on who can jump into your routine instead of redefining what needs to be done with each addition.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
We have 3 founders and our biggest thing when looking to find people to work with is check your ego at the door. We all do the jobs that are needed to make the company move forward. We all act as sales people, data entry or even clerical. there are no jobs that the CEO or founders are to big to do. By setting this tone early the people we brought on have the same mindset and will do what needs to be done to get the company off the ground.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
We view every opportunity, whether it good or bad, as a learning experience. The biggest was a failure to launch when this was just an idea in a dorm room. I have grown from that and instill in with everyone we bring on that any idea we have that is worth will be acted upon swiftly and effectively. No matter what the outcome we are always moving forward.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One idea that we too are acting on is the exponentially growing space of eSports. We have added a category for eSports athletes on our app to include them in with traditional sports. The space is growing so rapidly that there are plenty of opportunities within it for several other companies to work with.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
We recently spend $100 on the All in Challenge to spend a year with Garyvee. Not only was this towards a great cause to help out in the battle against COVID-19 we were brought into the world of Garyvee. We started watching all of his Tea Times in the morning and were able to bring on 5 people from his community to our team and they have been invaluable. That whole community is like minded individuals that have the entrepreneurial spirit.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We utilize all of the social medias to build a following, hear feed back, recruit and advertise.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Jab Jab Jab Right Hook by GaryVee
What is your favorite quote?
“If something is important enough, or you believe something is important enough, even if you are scared, you will keep going.” -Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX
- Never let someone’s words stop you from pursuing an idea
- When you have a dream you cannot wait until someone tells you to act. you need to dig deep and make it happen or someone else will.
- Not all ideas can make it into a business, but they should be evaluated and acted upon swiftly if you believe in it.
- Build a team of reliable people and do not be afraid to walk away from cancer within the organization
- DraftMate will be the biggest dating app in the sports fan and athlete space.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.