Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Paul Anton, CEO of Huupe, located in Racine, WI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Huupe is the world's first smart basketball hoop, with a screen for a backboard that allows you to train like a pro, track your performance, and play against other Huupe users right from your home. Our core customer is anyone with a home and driveway space who loves basketball.
Tell us about yourself
Basketball was my first love. I grew up just totally in love with the game. I still am today. My favorite person to play with has always been my little brother, Frankie. In 2011, I moved 1000 miles away for university, but Frankie and I didn’t let the distance separate us, and we continued to play basketball against each other by recording shots on our phones via Snapchat.
Several years later, I attended law school in San Francisco, where I caught the startup bug and founded Real Shot – the world’s first real-life video game that allowed users to play basketball remotely using Augmented Reality glasses.
Fast-forward to 2019, and one of my best friends, Lyth Saeed, who I’ve known since childhood, and I both found ourselves in Milwaukee on break from work and school. I invited Lyth over to play Real Shot. We played for hours. He loved it, but then he mentioned an idea that would change everything. He asked me, “do you think we could take your game [Real Shot] and put it on a backboard?”
My jaw dropped. I was speechless. I knew that this was a big idea. We both stopped everything right then and there and started building.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My first company, Atlas Media, was an OOH advertising company that was acquired by one of the nation's leading advertising companies earlier this year.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It is lonely at the top.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do what you love.
- Work for someone or some company in the area you love first.
- Once the golden idea comes to you, start and don't look back.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We built Huupe to connect the world through basketball. Our true North Star is to one day have users from all over the world playing basketball together. This has never been done before. We want kids in China, India, Greece, Germany, Spain, and every country in the world to be able to log onto their Huupes and play with each other. Basketball transcends race, creed, color, religion, and politics. Now, with Huupe, basketball will even transcend physical distance.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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