Monday, June 3, 2013

Soccer Referee Punts Game to Market with Help from SBDC Advisor

The Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has a collaborative network of nearly 30 advisors throughout the state.  Here is a great article on how my colleague in Pullman helped an entrepreneur take a business from the idea stage to reality.  A lesson not only in soccer, but perseverance and patience.

PULLMAN, Wash.--Motivated young soccer players can improve their skills by kicking the ball around, but how do they improve their understanding of the rules of the game. At a higher level, how do they use those rules to their advantage?

It’s a question Aziz Makhani, a youth and adult league soccer referee, has been pondering for years.  Too often, he said, young players seem confused by the technical aspects of the game, or a penalty call, and confusion leads to frustration. During a game he tries to educate as well as officiate, he said, but he knew there had to be a better way.
Image courtesy of WSU News

Then, in 2011 he had a middle-of-the-night epiphany and soon after he started his own business, Sports Cards and Games, as a platform to launch a soccer board game that emphasizes the technical components such as throw-ins, slide tackles and headers—as well as scoring goals. 

That game, KickShot, is now available online at and perhaps at a soccer fundraiser near you.

Makhani said dozens of people have helped him move KickShot from idea to market in little more than a year, but Terry Cornelison, a certified business advisor with the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC), has been his go-to resource from the very beginning.  
Click here to continue reading the full article.