Name: Steven J. Gaither
Alma Mater: Winston-Salem State University
Business Name & Description: HBCU Gameday. HBCU Gameday is a media outlet dedicated to the coverage of HBCU sports. Our mission is to provide HBCU students, alumni and supporters with a media outlet that offers timely news updates and in-depth analysis of sports that HBCUs rarely receive.
What year did you found your company? 2012
What was the most exciting and/or fearful moment during your HBCUpreneur career? Being retweeted by Roland Martin for our coverage of a shooting that took place involving a student-athlete last fall. It meant a lot for a respected journalist like Martin to drive traffic to our fledgling site.
What made you want to start your own company? I want to tell stories that matter to me and to people like me in a way that is engaging and truthful.
Who was the most influential person/people for you during your time in college? The most influential people for me in college were my peers. They were so driven to succeed that it made me go harder so I wouldn’t get left behind.
How do you handle complex problems? Contemplation and prayer.
What is something you wish you had known prior to starting your company? I wish I had realized about the need for this type of media earlier, so I could have been developing my contacts and been further along in the process of achieving my goal.
What do you believe HBCUs can do to spur more innovation and entrepreneurship while their students are in school either as undergraduate or graduate students? I think entrepreneurship should be pushed as an alternative to seeking employment.
How do you deal with rejection? I keep moving. On to the next story. On to the next project. On to the next opportunity.
When you have down time how do you like to spend it? I’m a social media addict, which is actually a good thing since social media interaction is a huge component of HBCU Gameday.
What was your most memorable HBCU memory? My best HBCU memories are mostly related to the work I did with the student newspaper, The News Argus. I got to meet a lot of interesting people, go to new places and see some exciting games.
In leaving is there any advice you have for budding HBCUpreneurs? I know it sounds like a clichés, but do what you love. Pursue your passion. If you make it your business to do what you love, you can’t fail. External success may not come as quickly as you’d like, your passion will propel you to success.