A student entrepreneur

Harry Chiu ’12, co-chair of The Agency, is part of an award winning start-up company! Check it out:

CollegeGolfPass was started last year with the intention to increase the rate of college golfers. Over the past few years, there has been a 20% drop in college golfers. Golf has never been an inexpensive sport, but in the current economy students are finding it hard to spend the extra cash.   For most kids under the age of 18, courses have made rates very generous, to keep youth interested. Unfortunately, they’ve all decided that once a student is 18, they’re considered an adult and should pay the normal rate, often making golf inaccessible to college students.

From this, my partners Mike Belkin (Amherst College ’11) and Kris Hart (Bryant ’08) realized a huge niche in the market that no one has really tapped into within the golf industry. About a month after starting up this company, Kris Hart reached out to me, since I was the founder of the club golf team here at HC. We were able to work a deal out in which I purchased 38 passes for my members.

This pass, which costs $40 per year, allows college students (grad and undergrad) to go to certain golf courses that CGP has partnered with and play at a discounted rate between 20-67%. This means that once a student plays twice, they’ve already covered the annual cost of their pass. Additionally, we are partnering with golf club companies to work in discounted rates on purchasing balls and clubs. Not only that, but certain PGA tournaments will also allow CGP members to purchase discounted tickets to certain events.

When the company started out, there were only 15 golf courses (all in MA) partnered with the program. Now it has over 70 courses in all of New England. We will continue to expand down south to Florida and then from there expand nationally with the hopes of eventually reaching California.

Just recently, CGP entered the Bryant Alumni New Venture Competition. April 20, 2012 was the finals in which six start-ups pitched their business to a panel of venture capitalists. CGP came out the winner with a check of $10,000 thanks to Bryant alumni. Not only that, but it generated outside interested from investors.

My role in this company is to market the CGP pass to various colleges. I work with colleges to develop club teams and work to expand the CGP from within. Additionally, I aid the schools in hosting tournaments that will help CGP reach out to even more colleges. My goal is to create a strong network amongst CGP colleges and universities so that they can better work together to play more golf.

For more information, please check out collegegolfpass.com

Thanks, Harry! Best of luck!

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Kaithlyn Kayer
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

David Chu
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor