Find a problem and solve it—that’s one of the keys to success for any entrepreneur. Daniel Goldberg, a Syracuse University senior who enjoys mixed martial arts, did just that—and recently won the right to represent the United States in April at the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.
Goldberg’s business, Diamond MMA, has garnered raving testimonials from pro athletes, and he envisions it “revolutionizing high-impact sports.” So what’s his product? Here’s a clue: “You can hit it with a sledgehammer, a baseball bat, a kick from a professional fighter—it doesn’t matter. You won’t go down,” Goldberg says.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the Diamond MMA is a protective athletic cup system.
At the GSEA national finals, Goldberg modeled the gear to demonstrate its effectiveness, asking a judge to hit him in the groin area with a hammer. The judge complied, and Goldberg never stopped smiling.
The cup system is no joke, though, as National Hockey League center Scott Gomez and MMA lightweight champion Anthony Pettis attest. Goldberg says Diamond MMA solves a common complaint about ill-fitting or inadequate protective gear.
“We have an amazing team of designers and good support from many professional athletes, so we want to build this brand up to become the next great sports equipment company,” Goldberg says.
His advice to other students interested in entrepreneurship: “There’s no better time to get started than in college. You have a great network of professors, mentors and other successful people who can help you build your business.”
So if you have a great idea, don’t let your youth or lack of education and experience deter you. “Just do it. Just start something,” Goldberg says. “I feel that a lot of college students tinker with an idea, but never actually act on it.”