A Humber student is looking to help amateur athletes move to the next level.
Kozak Video Reels seeks to create professional videos for high-level athletes to market themselves to scouts and coaches.
The venture is the brainchild of Adam Kozak, a final year Journalism student. It came after attending a New Venture Fund information session, which he was covering for Et Cetera.
“I wasn’t even planning on entering this contest,” said Kozak. “But I was blown away by what (business professor) Jim Skinner was talking about. That’s when the wheels started to roll.”
There’s a market for such videos in the United States where teams pull in major revenue for their schools but Canada’s market is just beginning to grow.
“I think players and athletes could benefit from it,” said Michael Kopinak, associate director of Athletics and Recreation at Humber North. “Probably coaches and administrators like myself could benefit from that because there’s a video that’s made, it kind of gives you an idea about the person you’re trying to recruit.”
Kozak’s is one of nine ventures to have won seed funding from this year’s New Venture Seed Fund.
He said the fund is Humber’s best-kept secret.
“They gave away $80,000, and that’s just for the seed fund,” said Kozak. “They also give away $40,000 for the LaunchPad Competition.”
Kozak said the funding was critical for starting his business, and gave him one-on-one time with a lawyer, a session with an expert entrepreneur, and the ability to network with all the other funding hopefuls.
“They’re not just helping me fund my business,” said Kozak. “They’re helping me fund my dream.”
His videos will have three components: a full game tape, a demo skills tape, and an interview to showcase character and personality.
“It’s really a full package of what that athlete can do, and what that athlete can bring,” he said.
Kozak said the target market for his services would be elite athletes playing rep or higher in Ontario, primarily geared to landing athletic scholarships.
“I imagine I might eventually gear it towards scouts who want to see full game tape but don’t want to travel to different cities,” said Kozak. “But that’s kind of in the future for now.”
He said he will also target marginal players.
“It’s not just the superstar athletes because they’re going to be scouted no matter what,” he explained. “It’s mostly guys on the fringe, like rep players who maybe haven’t gotten any offers yet or maybe they haven’t gotten the offers they wanted.”
“When I was playing hockey, there were a bunch of guys I can think of that might have (benefitted from a video),” said Mark Godfrey, a first year paramedic student at Humber.
“One of the guys on the team had a tough time deciding which school to go to because of scholarships,” said Godfrey. “He didn’t get a scholarship from the school he wanted so ended up missing out on a better program for one that did.”
Kozak won’t initially focus on all sports. There are issues with lighting and glare inside hockey arenas, for example, so he won’t be catering to that market right away.
Kozak has used the seed money to pick up the essentials for his business, including video equipment, a website, and a 27’ Apple iMac.