This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups who are participating in our first in-person Terp Startup summer accelerator since 2020. Participating student entrepreneurs will receive a stipend up to $5,000 that will enable them to work exclusively on their startups over the next eight weeks.
Founder: Josh Doying, MBA Candidate 2023.
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?
Doying: Bedtime Sports is a subscription storytelling service for the sports fan parents of young children. Subscribers will receive stories highlighting the athletes and stories about their favorite teams allowing them to share their fandom with their family during the season in an age appropriate and accessible format.
DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?
Doying: I’ve always been drawn to innovative solutions to problems and opportunities that I see around me. This specific idea came out of my personal experience trying to share my love of sports and my baseball team, The New York Mets, with my own kids.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup?
Doying: My daughter. I started creating the stories for her, and her enthusiasm is what made me think there might be wider interest in something like this. She has been my tester for the stories.
DC: Why did you decide to start a business in this industry?
Doying: I worked for 7 years in education, and I’m constantly motivated by opportunities to support children and families. While the idea for Bedtime Stories came from an experience in my own family, research shows that emotional resilience can be strengthened by hearing a variety of stories – with good and bad outcomes. (I know that I’ve developed a lot of emotional resilience through my own fandom of the New York Mets!) I hope I’ve built a product that can create shared time for parents and kids, help build emotional resilience, and be a pathway for more frequent and open communication.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last couple months?
Doying: Actually building a product and getting it off the ground and running. Just two months ago, I had an idea, 130 survey responses, and drafts of a couple stories. Now, we have a “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP) live at www.bedtimesports.com. After doing a lot of customer validation, surveys, idea pitching, business planning, etc, I’m excited to allow real customers to interact with our content, collect feedback, and adapt to meet customer demand.
DC: When it comes to your startup, how do you define success?
Doying: I think success is creating something so valuable that people are willing to give you money for it! It’s incredible to be able to create something like that. With Bedtime Sports, I also wanted to learn about entrepreneurship and everything associated with taking an idea and turning it into a business. I’ve learned so much that I would count this process as a huge success even if we didn’t get any customers (although I look forward to continuing to learn even more through the customer acquisition process!)
DC: What are you hoping to achieve during the Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?
Doying: My goal during the Accelerator was to create an MVP and begin marketing to and acquiring subscribers. We soft-launched last week, and are planning a hard launch this weekend, so mission 50% accomplished.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Doying: It’s not my advice, but I was told a long time ago that “the idea is not the secret sauce, you are.” Basically, there is a lot of fear about sharing ideas and “what if someone steals it” or “what if people think it’s dumb?” but really, you are what is going to make your idea successful, not the idea itself. I really appreciate the Terp Startup Accelerator for giving me the platform, opportunity, and framework to talk about my idea over and over again with lots and lots of people. It has helped bring it from an idea, to an actual, real thing. And that doesn’t happen until you start to share your idea with people.
To learn more about Bedtime Sports, please visit the website here.