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Newsworthy

Alumni Interview with Tyler Shooshani '18 and Max Friedman '18
Tyler Shooshani '18 and Max Friedman '18

The Office of Alumni Engagement caught up with Tyler Shooshani ’18 and Max Friedman ’18, Co-founders and Co-CEOs of Inked Sports. They tell us all about the vision for their startup and how it seeks to help college athletes navigate the NCAA’s regulation that now allows student-athletes to monetize from their name, image, and likeness. To learn more, read the interview below.

Tyler and Max, tell us about your background. 
Tyler: I’m a Junior at USC studying Business Administration and Real Estate Finance. Since I was very young, I have always been super creative in solving problems (even at the time if they may have been unrealistic). That passion never stopped for me throughout high school and college where I was given the space to shine and show my creativity. I worked at and started many startups, where I have learned the most important lesson in being successful: “If you fail, always fail forward.” For the past two years, I have worked as a student manager for the football team where I have found my true passion for collegiate athletics and helping student-athletes thrive. I realized through my manager position that there is a large lack of support for collegiate athletes and I felt like it was the perfect time to combine my love for entrepreneurship and collegiate athletics to co-found Inked Sports.

Max: I’m a Junior studying Computer Science and Business Administration at USC. I’ve always loved working with technology and solving problems. Naturally, as soon as I arrived on Brentwood’s campus I immediately signed up for computer science classes and my passion sprung from there. Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for ways to use my interests and skills to improve lives. I’ve spent every moment, the past three years, at USC learning to build and create. For the past year and a half Tyler and I have been applying all of these lessons every day as we develop and grow Inked Sports. I’m excited to continue to build Inked Sports and help collegiate athletes take control of their name, image, and likeness rights to build a lasting brand for themselves.

How did the idea for Inked Sports come about? What is the problem you are trying to solve and why is it important?
In October of 2019, the NCAA announced that collegiate athletes are finally going to be able to profit off of their name, image, and likeness. This allows for collegiate athletes to monetize during their college careers and create unique opportunities for themselves that for some can change their lives. However, Max and I quickly realized that the new NCAA rules included many provisions that extremely complicate this process for athletes to do on their own. We founded Inked Sports to provide a simple and efficient way for athletes to connect with brands for sponsorship and influencer marketing opportunities while staying compliant with the NCAA’s legislation.

What are the biggest obstacles you have faced in developing Inked Sports?
One of the biggest obstacles with building Inked Sports is trying to build a scalable technology platform. We want to make sure that the foundation of our codebase can scale well to handle the rapid acquisition of athletes and brands to our platform.

How do you balance school life with working on your company?
Sometimes you have to learn how to make some sacrifices in order to achieve certain goals. That goes both ways for staying on top of school work and taking one step closer to achieving our goals with Inked Sports. The number one most important thing we think about when we balance our school life with Inked Sports is to make sure we enjoy what we are doing.

What have you learned thus far? What are you most proud of?
Max and I have learned to always be honest with each other about everything. One of the most important things in being a successful co-founder is to be able to keep the other co-founders in check and not be hesitant to do so. Max and I live by that rule as it makes it much easier to be on the same page. We are most proud of how we’ve been able to balance Inked Sports in our lives and continue to grow the company every day by day.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs and/or what advice would you give to our students as you look back on your time at Brentwood?
If you are super passionate about a certain topic or subject, just start doing things that involve that topic. Only good things will come out of it.

How can the Brentwood community learn more about your company?
You can learn more about our company at our website www.inkedsports.co, our Instagram @inkedsports, and through Max and I. Please feel free to reach out to us to our emails (max@inkedsports.co and tyler@inkedsports.co), we are more than happy to help the Brentwood community.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Brentwood School?
Tyler: My favorite memory at Brentwood was playing my first tackle football game in 11th grade. Everyone, and I mean everyone on the team, ran down the field alongside me when I caught my first ever catch for a deep touchdown. I’ll never forget that moment because of the incredible support I had from my close friends and teammates.

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