Thursday, January 26, 2012

Young Missouri Entrepreneur Launches GolfSo and Columbia-based Incubator

Every once and awhile, an entrepreneur comes along who shows an overwhelming amount of passion, drive, creativity and determination that it takes over the room.  It's people like this that make entrepreneurship contagious.

At Think Big, we come across these kind of entrepreneurs all the time.  But when Corbin Umstattd of Columbia, Missouri swung by bizperc two weeks ago, we couldn't help but catch his startup fever.

Corbin has been immersed in the entrepreneurial world his whole life.  His family is made up of entrepreneurs which helped drive him toward starting his own business, GolfSo.

Following graduation from Columbia College, Corbin collaborated with Randy Minchew and Terry Culver to create America's Golf Social Network, an online site that helps golfers come together, posts events, displays photos and gives timely status updates.

"GolfSo makes it easier for golfers to play together," explains Corbin.  "It's a source of all content in the area for golf.  But we've also made it social and techy."

Currently, GolfSo is collaborating with a marketing class at Columbia College to amplify its marketing plan. The students at Columbia College are helping to find GolfSo's target market, develop its SWAT analysis and pin down market trends.  In addition, Corbin and his team at GolfSo are looking to develop strong partnerships in the golf world in and around Columbia.

"We want so many things out of this site," explains Corbin.  "We are expecting a lot when it comes to media, content and technology.  We want something that connects golfers all around."

Although Corbin was a golfer in high school, his passion is rooted most deeply in entrepreneurship.  It wasn't until two years ago that he decided to put two and two together to create an entrepreneurial venture based around the game of golf.  After finding his passion, Corbin attended Startup Weekend in both Columbia and in Kansas City.  At Startup Weekend, Corbin began to analyze the startup environment in Columbia.

"I noticed that Columbia has great resources like Startup Weekend, SCORE, our tech center and the University of Missouri.  But there is no middle ground for ideas to get to investors."

So (largely due to his entrepreneurial blood), Corbin set out to fix the problem.  He found that the best solution would be to launch a business incubator in Columbia in order to assist entrepreneurs in the area.  By making positive connections to movers-and-shakers and gaining valuable feedback from the community, Corbin will help to launch CoMo Incubator.  CoMo Incubator will open its doors in March of 2012.

"I try to look at problems and opportunities within the community and work hard to create a solution," Corbin says.  "It helps to have incredible talented people around me who think big as well."

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