Jun 24, 2022 - Business

Tech startup advice from a toddlers' hockey coach

Goodwin and his kids in their hockey gear
Kevin Goodwin with his kids Jack, 5, and Rhett, 3. Photo courtesy of Kevin Goodwin

There's not much difference between a preschool hockey player and the CEO of a tech startup.

Just ask Kevin Goodwin. When he's not at the Tampa Bay Wave running his startup, Reptrics, he's at the rink coaching his 3-year-old and 5-year-old sons in Timbits hockey.

  • "At first they're terrified to fall, but we teach them how to fall safely and all their fear goes away," Goodwin told Axios of his Timbits team.
  • "​​Once you realize it's OK to fail, you're able to really adapt and be fearless in the way you drive a business."

State of play: Goodwin, who started both his company and his Timbits coaching career in 2019, just capped a $600,000 seed funding round led by TampaBay.Ventures.

  • Reptrics is in the process of moving into its growth phase, and Goodwin is adding team members in Tampa Bay and Utah, where his business partner is based.

Zoom in: The three phases of a hockey game are a lot like the three phases of business, Goodwin said. "When you go from startup to growth and then expansion, your Stanley Cup comes in the form of going public or for a merger or acquisition."

  • "They move quickly, the game changes and you've gotta be able to grow," he said.

And when your back is against the wall, like the Lightning are right now heading into Friday night's game, you can always make a comeback.

  • "It's not about never giving up," Goodwin said. "I know very few entrepreneurs who have one business and that was it. You learn and you grow from that experience and you move on to the next great opportunity."
  • "Everybody goes through that where there's tough times and you fail. If The Lightning lose the Stanley Cup, that doesn't mean it's over."
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