Eddie Ross, TennisHub, Winner of the Technology Track

Eddie Ross

Eddie Ross was a frustrated tennis player who saw a need and created a successful business with a solution: TennisHub. TennisHub is an online service that allows players to book tennis courts, find new partners, and, of course, play more tennis! Eddie always knew there were tennis events to participate in, but he never knew where they were or when they were happening. Players needed a way to find tennis events and book them online, so Eddie began researching the market. He surveyed tennis teaching professionals, front desk staff, players, friends and anyone else who could prove that there was a need in the market. Each of his ideas was broken into pieces to be validated by the consumers he surveyed, and as they were validated, he began to form his business model.

The biggest problem Eddie faced was how to create a profitable business. As a father, Eddie did not feel
comfortable quitting his full-time job unless he could find a way for TennisHub to make money. His
spare time was used for business development and some of his greatest ideas were created on latenight
flights home or when he was driving around in his car. Eddie also had a large network of experienced professionals he could rely on for advice. As he likes to say, “It takes a village to create a startup,” and Eddie believes you need smart people to tell you if your idea has merit or if it needs improvement. As a sole owner, Eddie admits that being on his own was certainly a challenge, but having a team of skilled individuals, as well as a supportive family, helped him build a unique, successful business.

It took about four years and plenty of research for Eddie to be comfortable enough with TennisHub’s model to leave his job. TennisHub was the winner of the Technology Track in the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition for their model, clearly showing Eddie’s company is on the right track. Eddie believes that their execution of the plan really won over the judges. “We’re not just a concept. We have revenue, customers, products and financing.

We’ve been relentlessly focused on execution and fixing things to make progress, which I think the judges took note
of,” Eddie said. Eddie also believes TennisHub’s commitment to renewing the entrepreneurial culture in Rhode Island
helped them win the competition.

“I grew up in Pawtucket, so I know about the state’s deep history at the mills during the Industrial Revolution, and I feel a responsibility to bring back Rhode Island’s entrepreneurial culture. I am very
passionate about bringing jobs to Rhode Island and helping the state grow through the aid of startups,”
Eddie said.

So what advice does the successful owner of TennisHub offer for startups? Know your market and your
customer. Eddie spent years performing customer discovery in order to make sure he was providing a solution that meant something to his consumers. Eddie says business owners need to know their market to understand how big it is, who their competitors are, what the capital requirements are, and many other important details.

He recommends startups check out other successful business plans to help create their own models. Now that TennisHub has won the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, the company plans to continue gaining new customers and spreading to a national level. Luckily, TennisHub is a unique service, so they do not face many competitors, but they still work on being ten times better than any other model so that there is a clear distinction for their consumers. Overall, TennisHub wants to continue providing a great, easy user experience that gets tennis players on the courts more!

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