Kevin Plank on Becoming A Successful Entrepreneur


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Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour, gave this inspirational speech at the 2010 Cupid’s Cup:

0:00 Introduction
2:04 Perfection is the enemy of innovation
2:55 Attract and build a great team
4:26 Communication
5:58 No loser talk
6:54 12 years old
8:00 Prepare to be lonely
9:36 The future
10:45 Innovation
16:33 Design

The Cupid’s Cup was founded by Under Armour founder and CEO, Kevin Plank. Cupid’s Cup is a national competition for young entrepreneurs.

“Back in college – before having the idea for the T-shirt that changed the way athletes dress – my first experience with true entrepreneurial success was creating an on-campus Valentine’s Day flower delivery service called Cupid’s Valentine Rose Delivery. Not unlike Under Armour’s humble beginnings in my Grandma’s basement, I ran the operation out of my dorm room at the University of Maryland.

Two weeks before Valentine’s Day, I would place an ad in the school paper. The orders would roll in, and all the details were written down on individual index cards. My team and I worked ‘round the clock to make sure every order was precisely filled and delivered on time – box delivery or vase, ferns or baby’s breath, paper or no – every detail mattered!

As a student-athlete, I was prohibited from having a job. But that just helped me find a loophole –no one said athletes weren’t allowed to run a business!

Cupid’s Valentine set the foundation for the heart and soul of Under Armour… the mantra “I WILL.”

The profits from my rose business came out to $17,000 and became the initial seed money for Under Armour.”


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