Startup Milwaukeean of the Week: Scott Schmidt

scotts At what point did you become interested in entrepreneurship?

In late 2010, I started to understand and appreciate Entrepreneurship. Cover5 dates back to 2001, when I created Cover5 but never thought about actually forming a business around it. It was meant for friends and family to stay connected and enjoy a fun game. I was running my Cover5 game on Microsoft Excel and through email blasts which provided a nice group of friends and family playing Cover5 and having a unique experience around sports. With the advancements in high-speed internet, the overall Fantasy Sports industry started to boom so I thought if the little group of people that are playing Cover5 now are this passionate, this is a game that millions more could enjoy.

What has been the biggest difficulty you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?

The largest difficulty I’ve faced has been that our game to date has been primarily a seasonal game focused on football. In a world that changes so quickly, it’s hard to build momentum when you’re not in front of people 24/7/365. Moving forward, we’re putting a big focus on creating additional games and offerings around other sports that can be played throughout the year.

What makes Milwaukee a unique place to start a company?

I think there is a growing group of business leaders in this town that are looking to help put Milwaukee on the map with regards to tech innovation. In my opinion, people from Milwaukee and Wisconsin are very loyal and supportive; if you have the top business leaders coaching, supporting and cultivating new leaders in this town, it’s good for the community as a whole. 

What piece of advice do you have for new startup companies?

Be yourself. I’ve found that people appreciate honesty and sincerity — whether it’s investors, partners or customers. Never get too high or low. You’re the leader of your company and need to be steady through the highs and lows of the business cycle.

What is the biggest challenge Cover5 faces?

I read an article that recapped fantasy sports players behavior specifically related to their behavior on mobile vs. computer. Despite over 70% of people’s online activity being conducted via mobile, the fantasy sports players still prefers their interaction done via the computer. Since we cater to both the fantasy and casual fan, we’ve taken that data and are prioritizing our builds based on how critical each need is for each demographic. Where other companies may have the luxury of focusing on one platform or the other based on their customers’ behavior, Cover5 relishes the challenge to build a great experience on both fronts.

Quick Facts:

Title: Founder of Cover5, Inc. Cover5 HQ: New Berlin, WI Contact Scott: LinkedIn Profile