After I spotted a student who had duct-taped Christmas lights to his skateboard riding around the Arizona State University campus one night in 2011, I was inspired with the idea for Board Blazers LED Underglow Skateboard, Longboard & Scooter Lighting. I risked most of my personal savings and started the company at 20 years old in March 2012.
Since I had no prior entrepreneurial experience, SCORE mentors have provided invaluable mentorship and guidance, even after the early hurdles of starting the company. Starting your own business can be a lonely exercise – understandably, everyone tires of just ‘bouncing around ideas’ – but SCORE mentors are always willing to brainstorm, offer a connection, and thoughtfully answer your questions in a confidential environment. Most importantly, I’ve found they consider your business challenges as if they were their own.
Thanks to the help of SCORE and a host of other mentors, the company has grown into a surprising success. Board Blazers have become the #1 selling skateboard lighting system on Amazon.com, with lights sold in all 50 U.S. states and 16 countries. Board Blazers has been featured by USA Today, FOX News, KTLA, the Arizona Republic, the OC Register, AZ Tech Beat, and the Phoenix Business Journal, among others. In March 2013, they were featured by rapper Lil Wayne’s TRUKFIT brand at the renowned SXSW festival, sparking a viral YouTube video. I’ve been named one of Arizona’s “Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35,” and in 2014 was profiled by the national FOX TV show “Live Life & Win!” In 2015, Board Blazers was highlighted in Entrepreneur magazine. I’ve also created the Beyond Business Institute to provide leadership and entrepreneurship speaking, consulting, and coaching services, aiming to pass along what I’ve learned from my experiences with the same level of care and consideration that SCORE has always provided me.