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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

LaunchNET helps turn sports trading card website into reality

Over the last year and a half, student entrepreneurs have pitched their ideas, worked through legal barriers.
Courtesy of Robey Bolen
Left to right: Lucas Simonetti, Robey Bolen, at the Idea Labs Pitch Competition, where they won the People’s Choice Award.

With the help of LaunchNET, students are turning their idea of a website to sell and trade sports cards into a legitimate business venture. 

The name for their prospective business is Card Pull Trade and was created by the business’s CEO, Robey Bolen, a sport management student. 

Over the last year and a half, Bolen and his fellow students, Connor Foody, the chief technology officer and Lucas Simonetti, the chief marketing officer, have worked under the help of Catie Lenahan, the LaunchNET program manager, to bring their idea to life. 

Lenehan said she helps students find the resources available to them for their projects. 

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“Once I get people in the door it’s like the magic happens,” Lenehan said. “I think the biggest struggle we see is taking that first step.” 

Bolen said that being advised on that first step was vital for understanding the process. 

“Having someone there to kind of guide us rather than just doing it alone,” Bolen said. “It truly helped us, even if this doesn’t work out it’s helped us prepare if we want to try something different. We know what the first steps are to do it now.” 

Card Pull Trade has already seen some success after they were entered into IdeaLabs Pitch Competition that includes multiple schools in the region. The competition offers micro-grants as rewards. 

Last spring, Card Pull Trade won the BW round and was awarded a People’s Choice Award at the regional round.  

Nonetheless, Bolen said that there have been some difficulties along the way, such as unexpected paperwork and legal barriers. 

Simonetti said LaunchNET has aided them through those challenges. 

“It’s super helpful to us, especially when we were just starting and even now,” Simonetti said. 

LaunchNET works with BW, Kent State University, Lorain County Community College and Case Western Reserve University. They have served over 80 applicants last fiscal year. 

Bolen said he believes his idea can inspire others to use LaunchNET to pursue a business venture.

It’s been a lot of fun and I’m really excited to see where it goes, and I hope to inspire others to do the same,” Bolen said. 

Network is your net worth is something the school preaches and I wholeheartedly agree,” Bolen said.If I didn’t know Connor or Lucas or use LaunchNET, we probably wouldn’t have even gotten off the ground or the idea out of my head.  


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