By: Diane Stirling
For a majority of college students, mid-November signals the beginning of a holiday break.
For Dan Goldberg, a School of Information Studies (iSchool) senior, CEO of one business (Golden Gear) and partner in a new four-person startup (DiamondMMA.com), November’s calendar is filled with entrepreneurship competitions, and the concept of a time-out from classes and promoting his businesses probably hasn’t even crossed his mind.
Dan recently took first place in the regional-level competition for the Entrepreneurs Organization Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), which he calls “the premier global competition for students who actively run a business.”
In a few days, he’ll compete at the national level GSEA event with 18 other students like himself. He’ll be talking about his innovative product line and hoping for the opportunity to go to international GSEA competitions in April.
Dan also is a finalist in the upcoming 2014 Ivy Sports Symposium, a Shark Tank-style competition. He’ll soon be pitching his Diamond MMA company’s product—a uniquely designed protective athletic cup—to sports-world executives and key business figures. It’s the chance to obtain major exposure, have the opportunity to find new mentors, strategic partners, and potential investors, and to continue to push forward in the world of entrepreneurship.
To Dan, these events also represent the ability to show how his innovation will have a major impact in the sports world and beyond, he says—as well as to show the judges why he has, well, something more. Never seeming to lack for enthusiasm, work ethic, a positive attitude, a salesman’s demeanor, or pitching skills, “more” is Dan’s strong suit.
“All my life, I’ve really been a go-getter, and I feel like I’ve also viewed things differently. In the past, where other people have seen just problems, I saw the solution,” Dan recounts matter-of-factly. “Where other people saw it as good enough, I always said it could be better, and that’s how I’ve always thought. I’m in it 110 percent, all the time, thinking about the business 24/7/365,” Dan emphasized. “My dream is to be a successful entrepreneur, and I won’t stop until I get there. As an entrepreneur, there’s nothing more I want than to see success in my products.”
Goldberg initially entered the sphere of entrepreneurship via his protective boxing glove company, Golden Gear. As a martial arts competitor, Dan personally understood the importance of creating gear designed to keep athletes from getting injured. Now, he and his team are introducing an innovative protective athletic cup, a concept that appears to have unlimited worldwide potential. The product, he says, “is the most comfortable and most practical cup in the world; it’s the world’s most perfected athletic cup.” Dan and his Diamond MMA team are working to create maximum exposure for their product, including competitions like the kind he’s entering—and add mentorships and connections along the way—just as he’s done throughout his years at the iSchool.
That’s because to Dan, college is a place to build relationships as much as it is about the academics. “I can’t even count how many mentors I have at Syracuse, and even if I left school today, I feel like I’ve got everything I can from Syracuse because I’ve created such a great network of mentors who all want to see me succeed,” he enthused. “That’s what the iSchool is great at. My biggest mentors are at the tip of my phone; I can dial them anytime.”