On today’s show, Trent Attyah, the CEO & Founder of Bookit Sports joins us to talk about his new “social media” platform specifically designed for the sports betting audience. Listen to how Trent manages his full time college student life alongside running a full time startup business.

Video of the Interview with Trent Attyah

Show notes from Trent Attyah Interview

Ryan Knuppel: Today we get a real treat, we have Trent Attyah, the CEO and Founder of BookIt Sports, on the show. He is going to talk all about how he balances his college life with being an entrepreneur.

Ryan Knuppel: Everywhere you turn, it’s the same old sports talk, the same headlines, the same news, and the same boring information. This podcast is here to change all of that. We bring you hot sports takes, winning sports betting strategy and picks, reliable gaming industry news, and breaking interviews with some of the biggest names in sports business. My name is Ryan Knuppel, and welcome to the Knup Sports Show.

Ryan Knuppel: Hey, what’s up, everybody? Welcome back to another episode of the Knup Sports Show. I’m your host, Ryan Knuppel, here with you each and every time. Hey, today I’m joined by another great guest, today we have the CEO and Founder of BookIt Sports, Trent Attyah on the line with me.

Ryan Knuppel: Trent, are you here?

Trent Attyah: Yes, sir. How we’ve been doing? Thanks for having me.

Ryan Knuppel: Absolutely. Hey, I’m doing fine. How about yourself, are you hanging in there during this sports shutdown? Are you staying safe, and staying sane?

Trent Attyah: I mean, it’s been pretty difficult, I never really realized how much I do value sports. When it’s not on, I’m finding myself not sure what to do with my time, because I really devote so much time to watching it sports. Now that it’s not on anymore for the unforeseeable future, having to come up with other things to keep busy and stay occupied, that’s not watching sports.

Ryan Knuppel: Yeah, it’s crazy how much we actually take it for granted, I think. Just that it’s always here, and it’s always going, and it never goes away. Then when it does we’re like, “Whoa, this is weird.” So, I think it’ll make us all, in the sports industry, really appreciate the craft of what we do, and just the end product of these sports a lot more when it comes back. We probably won’t take a day for granted after it comes back.

Trent Attyah: Absolutely. I’m so used to waking up, and turning on either First Take, or Fox Sports, and just getting tuned into what’s going on in the daily news. Now, I really don’t feel any desire to watch those networks, because I know exactly what they’re talking about. There’s nothing going on, except for the virus.

Trent Attyah: It really does affect the minute I wake up until I go to bed, because it’s usually all sports, sports, sports, sports. Now, it’s really just Netflix, Netflix, working, working, Netflix.

Ryan Knuppel: For sure, I feel the pain, I feel it.

Ryan Knuppel: Give us a little background. You’re the CEO and Founder of BookIt Sports. I guess, first tell the audience and everybody listening what BookIt Sports is?

Trent Attyah: Yeah. I came up with the idea in May, and I identified a problem in the sports betting industry, that there’s lack of user engagement and simplified content consumption. So, one of my roommates had money on the Toronto Raptors to beat the Charlotte Hornets last year, and the Hornets actually won on a full court short at the buzzer. My roommate had a hilarious reaction that I really wanted to post somewhere, because I knew it was relatable content, and people felt the same way.

Trent Attyah: But then, I just didn’t know where to post it. He was like, “I actually made a separate Instagram and Twitter account, specifically to post and follow with the sports betting community.” That’s when I realized that there’s not a platform dedicated strictly to sports betting, and I realized that there is definitely a need for this community. That’s when I acted on the idea, and turned it into a venture that I am now pursuing, and hopefully launching within the next coming months, as sports start to unfold.

Trent Attyah: Imagine Instagram, but specifically for sports betting, that’s the goal with BookIt Sports, is to connect the global community on one central hub. I realized that sports betters were jumping from app, to website, to multiple different sources to interact and consume different types of content in the sports betting space. That’s what led me to pursue this venture.

Ryan Knuppel: Very cool, that’s a very cool concept and I definitely think you’re onto something, with the need of it. We all want to talk sports, and sports betting without the distraction of, maybe, some other stuff. So, a platform like that will let you stay focused, and be able to communicate with like-minded individuals who are all talking about the same full court short that just busted up their four team parlay, or whatever.

Trent Attyah: Exactly.

Ryan Knuppel: That’ll be neat.

Trent Attyah: Exactly, exactly.

Ryan Knuppel: So, you’re a college kid, you’re in college, you’re still going through college. What in the world, I guess, drives you to do something this I would call it big? At this point in your life, this is a big move, this is a big project, being a CEO, launching a business, going through the whole investing side of things that comes from a business. I guess, where do you get the motivation to do something like this, at your age?

Trent Attyah: Yeah. Honestly, when I just think about, long term, what my future looks like, I really just think about, what is it I want to be doing? I really just see myself as leading the charge for a new, revolutionary concept, and I’ve known that for quite some time now. But, I just couldn’t put a finger on what that idea was going to be, and then I saw the opportunity for this venture, and I just jumped all over it because I feel like I’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit, and the drive, and the passion to lead the team to a successful product.

Trent Attyah: So, I saw the opportunity with BookIt Sports, and I combined my two favorite passions, which are sports and media, and that’s what keeps me going. It’s just that it doesn’t really feel like work, I really feels just like a really fun project that I’m constantly working on, every day. The thing that keeps me going is these awesome connections that I’m making, reaching out to these NBA and NFL players on LinkedIn, and actually getting responses is awesome. I don’t know anyone else who’s my age doing something like this, and it’s been a really great experience. I’ve learned so much more throughout this venture than I probably would if I had pursued a business degree.

Trent Attyah: I have a ton of friends that are pursuing business, that I don’t think would be capable of doing the things that I’m doing. It takes, really, a certain type of person to actually execute a vision like this, and I was able to recognize that I had an entrepreneurial mindset early on, that I really felt like I could do this even though I had no background in business. I’m not a business major, I’ve never started a business, I’m learning everything as I go, but I’ve got a really great support team behind me that is willing to bear with me, with my lack of business experience. Then also, teach me along the way, and continuously adding to my advisory board so I can have those who are able to guide me in the right direction if I’m headed in the wrong way, or something like that.

Trent Attyah: The support I’ve been getting, the traction I’ve been getting is very exciting, and keeps me fueled. I’m just really excited to finally launch something, I feel like it’s been over a year. It really hasn’t, since I’ve come up with the idea, which is crazy, it feels like it’s so long. But, I’m really excited to finally stop building the hype, and finally launch something.

Ryan Knuppel: Yeah. Man, I’m really fascinated by that story, and by what you’re doing because you think back, and you think to the college setting. Most kids, most people in college are doing a little different activity than what you’re doing. You’re spending your nights, and every free time, building a true business. You mentioned some things about maybe not having the experience, or not knowing some things, but that’s what business is all about.

Ryan Knuppel: Business is about executing, taking chances, and just trying it. It honestly is, you can learn all you want. I’m not going to discredit college or anything like that, because I think there’s definitely a need to learn, and to take all these courses, and things like that.

Trent Attyah: Absolutely.

Ryan Knuppel: At the end of the day, you’ve got to go out and do, and get that experience, and that’s the way you’re going to learn. To me, it’s just fascinating you’re doing them at the same time, and you’re going to be so much further ahead coming out of college. Because, what’s your path? Well, I have my path, I already have my business. It’s really fascinating to me, so I commend you for taking the initiative, and really making that happen from a business owner perspective. That’s not easy, at that age, so congrats on that.

Trent Attyah: Thank you, thank you. I really appreciate it. You know, I just had the mindset of if this ends up failing, the worst possible case scenario is that I have a very good resume builder to show somebody, that I basically did all this on my own.

Ryan Knuppel: Absolutely.

Trent Attyah: I’m a five tool player, I could really be utilized wherever it may be in the industry of sports.

Ryan Knuppel: Another cool thing, and I think you have a similar mindset to me in this space, but I’ve noticed you really being vocal out on LinkedIn, and different places, and really building your network or connections in the sports industry. What’s funny is that’s how we met, we met on LinkedIn, and just tossing around your idea, and what’s going on, and this and that. The next thing you know, you showed up on Orlando, at an accelerator event to try to get some investment, which is so cool to me.

Ryan Knuppel: But, have you noticed networking, and things like that, are really playing a big role? If you had to talk to other college kids, or other people starting a business, what role does networking play in just getting something off the ground for you?

Trent Attyah: I think networking is literally the number one priority, especially in today’s time because without LinkedIn, I would not have nearly as much traction as I do have. I’ve made all my connections through LinkedIn, just shooting my shot, just feeling like there’s really nothing to lose if I reach out to Meadow World Peace, or whatever NBA player, whoever it might be, people that are responding on LinkedIn. There’s people that are influential, and have a lot of credibility and influence in the community that are very responsive on LinkedIn, and are willing to help you out.

Trent Attyah: You’re, for example, somebody that I followed for so long, and now I can actually put a face to the name, we’ve met in person, and I’m utilizing your network, and we’re on this podcast now. I mean, everything just comes back together when you network on LinkedIn. That’s staying in touch with those connections, not just adding them on LinkedIn, and thinking that’s a great job. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t mean anything until you turn that connection into a genuine relationship.

Trent Attyah: That’s my biggest thing I’ve learned throughout this time, because if you stay in touch with those people, they are definitely more inclined to actually help you out, rather than you just reaching out on a whim. But, utilizing LinkedIn, utilizing emails, keeping everybody in the loop, staying engaged with the community, I can tell that makes a huge impact with what I’m doing because I always get people saying, “Oh, I love what you’re doing on LinkedIn.” I get that more often than you think, and I feel like sometimes I’m being a little bit too pushy, but I’m always reassured that people are staying engaged with what I’m doing, based on what I’m posting on LinkedIn.

Trent Attyah: If you feel like you’re posting too much, I don’t think there’s a too much because as long as you’re in the people’s minds, you’re doing something right. Networking is huge.

Ryan Knuppel: Yeah, I think there’s a balance there, right? I think your posts have to come across genuine, they can’t be all sales-y. I mean, if you’re all sales-y, that’s when it’s going to be too much. But, if you’re truly providing value to the community that you’re in, and to the people that are your audience, I think you really can’t post too much of that, which then gets your name out there as well. Yeah, I love what you’re doing there, and I think we have similar mindsets on that.

Ryan Knuppel: So, let’s flip gears, though. Let’s go back to BookIt Sports, and let’s talk about, I guess, where you’re going, where you’re heading. So, you’re almost ready to launch? I’m assuming this whole sports shutdown … I’m actually assuming, maybe, this is actually a decent timing for that, because now you can really head down, and finish this product, and get it out. So, when sports really comes back, you’re ready to go, is that where you’re at? Or, tell us a little bit about where you’re at, where you’re heading, and what you envision once sports comes back for you?

Trent Attyah: Exactly. In December, I was really feeling the pressure to launch something early 2020, because of the economy was so good, sports were flourishing, sports betting was getting legalized in more states, and it was a very hot topic. I was feeling a lot of pressure. I really, really just didn’t want to put something on the App Store just because I’m forcing it, I really want to put a solid amount of money, and a big amount of time and effort into the development before launching.

Trent Attyah: But, thankfully … As bad as the virus is, and it’s an awful situation, it really was the best possible case scenario for me and my team, because now the elephant’s off our shoulders to launch something in March, April, and really spend time and money on development, where it needs to be spent, and really get something that’s product ready to launch in the App Store.

Trent Attyah: Before the virus was even a thing, our plan was to launch the first couple weeks of June, but now with the virus, definitely … Me, personally, I don’t think sports are being played until, at least August, September, at the earliest. So, with that case, we are definitely on track to launch around that time. But, we had narrowed the scope of our development, we removed some features to accommodate releasing our app very soon, but now that we have more time, we could actually go back and enhance those features, and actually put them in the app, that will provide the user an enhanced experience that we’re really excited about.

Trent Attyah: We were really, really blessed with the situation that’s happening right now in the world. It does make it a little difficult to raise some capital, but thankfully I’ve got some figured out that will keep me going, keep me operating until we launch. Any investor pitches that I had previous to the virus had been put on pause, for the time being, but I do have another wave that I’m pitching to in a possible accelerator that I could be participating in, after I graduate. The state of the world really is just uncertain, which puts a couple things up in the air. But, in terms of launching the app, and establishing our user base early on, we’re in a very, very good spot right now.

Ryan Knuppel: Yeah. I think the flip side of that a little, but I know a lot of people are uneasy, investors are uneasy, things like that, but if you look back over the course of history, this is when people get rich. This is when investors really can find their product, or service, or whatever that they want to invest in, and really I guess go big with that, this is the time for that.

Trent Attyah: Exactly.

Ryan Knuppel: I think there may be some people out there that are still interested. Hopefully some audience on this show, actually, are people that may be interested in BookIt Sports, or working with somebody like you, Trent. So, I hope to make that connection here, through something like this. Because I’m assuming you’re still looking for that? I was going to get into that next, but you kind of touched on it, the investment side, and the money side.

Ryan Knuppel: It’s not cheap to develop an app. I know you’ve put in tons of time, and tons of sweat equity, but the cash has to come as well, to make something like that happen. Anything you want to say more, along the investment side, or to potential investors, I guess? This isn’t a pitch podcast, by any means, but I guess anything, if somebody’s listening, and may be looking to invest, anything you wanted to say there?

Trent Attyah: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, of course every startup needs capital, to continue to operate, and also enhance your current product, which is definitely something I’m still pursuing. But, it’s not like I’m at a dead position right now, where I can’t continue to keep moving forward. We are definitely looking for investors at this time, to expand on our current team, and surround us with more developers to monitor the tech, enhance the backend technology, and then also enhance the front end, animations, and designs of the app.

Trent Attyah: But, I’m a very passionate, young entrepreneur, I think that the current state of the world, with COVID-19, sports are going to be more important than they have ever been, once they return. I think whatever the first sporting event that returns is probably going to be the highest rated sports show of all time. Even if it’s North Texas versus Toledo, I think it’s going to have a massive, massive turnout. With that, everyone’s going to be betting on that, even the people who have never bet before. They have friends who are going to influence them to come on and bet, and I think whatever the sports betting industry was valued at is going to double by the time sports come back.

Trent Attyah: I just think this is a whole new generation that we’re going to come back into, once the virus dies. I think sports betting is going to be the epicenter of sports. I think once sports come back, there are going to be venues, sports books in the stadium. I think there’s going to be a sports betting mobile sports book, that takes over everything. I don’t know which brand’s going to do that, my guess would be Barstool. But, they’re also having to deal with the same situation I’m in right now. I saw Pen National had to put a pause on all existing projects, that’s a big, big blow in the industry. But, it really gives me that opportunity to get ahead of game, while the others are falling back.

Trent Attyah: I think I’m in a really good spot here, and if there’s an investor out there that is willing to take the chance, and put up a check that allows me to launch the potential product that I think we’re capable of building, then by all means, I would love to connect, and elaborate further on where we’re at in our current stage. Yeah, just really excited about it, and even if you’re not an investor and you just want to learn more about BookIt Sports, I would love to connect. If you’re a sports betting startup, too, we’re always looking for potential affiliates and partners, to join and be a part of this community. More than happy to get on a call, Zoom, whatever, with anybody who would like to connect further, and learn more about it.

Ryan Knuppel: Amazing, Trent. Well, I appreciate your time, definitely. I won’t keep you all day, I know you’re a busy man, you’ve got a lot going on, balancing college, balancing work, and all of this. Let us know, where can get a hold of you? Where can the audience get a hold of you if they’d like, what’s the best channel?

Trent Attyah: Yeah, LinkedIn, just hit me up, Trent Attyah. Our website, BookItSports.app, you can learn more about the app signup, check out some videos, you can see a pitch or two of mine. Instagram, Trent Attyah, or BookIt.Sports, you can follow me on either one of those, and you can get updates on my personal life, and also BookIt Sports and the development process. Those are probably the best channels. And, Twitter as well, I’m also on there. But, feel free to hit me up anywhere, I’m very responsive.

 

Ryan Knuppel: Amazing, amazing. Well, I’ll make sure to add all those links in the show notes of this episode, and Trent, we really appreciate you being here. I think there was a lot of value added in an indirect way, a lot of value added to the audience here as well, can grab a few little tips out of here, from a college kid that’s really making it happen in the entrepreneurial world. So, congrats on that, again. Thank you for being here. Any last words, for the audience?

Trent Attyah: Everybody, stay at home, stay safe and healthy during this time. I appreciate you tuning in, and listening to my story. Hopefully, all this comes to an end soon, but just know that there is a brighter light at the end of the tunnel, amid all this chaos. So, stay home, and stay safe.

Ryan Knuppel: 100%, we will all stay home, we will all stay safe. There’s really not a choice of staying home, nothing else to do. When sports comes back, I’m looking forward to following BookIt Sports, and seeing the impact you guys make in the social space around this. So, thanks again, Trent, and we’ll be talking to you soon. Have a good one.

Trent Attyah: Thank you, thank you very much. You as well.

Ryan Knuppel: Bye bye.

Ryan Knuppel: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Knup Sports Show. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider subscribing to our iTunes channel today. Plus, visit us at KnupSports.com for more picks, previews, strategy, and news. That’s K-N-U-P Sports.com.

 

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