Women Entrepreneurs & Socially Responsible Startups

April 21, 2023

During VAULT Unlocked’s July Virtual Lunch, we were excited to welcome Honest Game’s co-founders Kim Michelson and Joyce Anderson to share their experiences as women entrepreneurs in the sports startup world.

If you missed it, you can watch it below:

Video Recording:

As collegiate athletes, Kim, the first female student-athlete in California to play on male varsity athletic teams and Joyce, a two-time Captain of the Columbia University Women’s Tennis team, bringing equal access to college sports for all student-athletes is their company’s mission.

The Positive Effects Of Being A Woman And Minority Entrepreneur

As a smaller framed, Asian athlete, Joyce recalls constantly being underestimated in her sport. She was able to use this to her advantage and surprise her opponents on the court by what she was truly capable of.  

In business, this gives the female founder an edge when being the only woman in a meeting. Kim and Joyce rarely shy away from the challenge and they expect to be treated the same as their male counterparts. They present themselves just as any other man in the room would, with confidence and conviction.

As mothers, Joyce and Kim know first hand the definition of busy. But instead of focusing on how much more they might accomplish throughout the day without also having to be a mom to their busy bunch, they’ve decided to flip the narrative and look at all the things being a mother has brought to their ability to be more compassionate, creative and driven.

What It Means to Be a Public Benefit Corporation

As a public benefit corporation, it is about having benefit be your business’ charter purpose; doing well by doing good. Although Honest Game is a for-profit entity like most other startup companies that make a profit when they’re doing business the benefits part of their company (more specifically impacting the trajectory of human lives) is critical to what they’re doing.

On top of looking at hitting their financial targets, Honest Game is evaluating what they’ve done in terms of outcomes and social benefits It is possible to be concerned with both.

Being an entrepreneur is hard. You may have fifteen sales calls in one day, a lunch video interview and you have to build a pitch deck. It’s hard and it requires a lot of multi-tasking, but every day Joyce and Kim know their working towards this goal that’s going to make people’s lives better.

What Does Honest Game Do?

All parents are doing their best when trying to get their kids through school, but it takes a village. It takes a village to get your kid through high school, it takes an even BIGGER village to get your kid to college and you’ll need to amplify that village, even more, when trying to access college athletics for your child.

Part of Honest Game’s mission is not only education, but helping reduce mistakes caused by human error. Because unfortunately, that human error has caused many students to suffer with regard to college athletics.

Honest Game works by accessing high school student’s data through their transcripts and calculates what their NCAA GPA is. Their technology then shows the student their College Athletic Report On Eligibility (CARE) which provides students with recommendations on which classes they’ll need to take and the grade they’ll need to receive in order to be eligible for college athletics.  

There are one million students in the US that are ineligible for college athletics every year, meaning they cannot accept a college athletic scholarship. In larger cities, this number is almost one in two student-athletes that are ineligible.

These statistics tie directly into Honest Game’s public benefit because they strongly believe there should be equal access to play sports in college. With more than $1.6 trillion in college debt college in the US, it has become virtually unaffordable. On the other hand, colleges are handing out almost $3 billion in athletic scholarships each year. So why can’t we marry those two? The answer, students need a path and one that has integrity.

Want to learn more about VAULT Innovation and what our team of experts has to offer? Email us or visit our website to see if there is a fit to work together.

You can also learn more about our guest speakers, Kim Michelson and Joyce Anderson, founders of Honest Game, by visiting their website.

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