After signing break-out rap artist Sammy Adams, this fledgling record label and entertainment firm is hoping for more wins.
Teague Egan isn’t one to walk away from a challenge; if anything, he charges after them. Teague will relentlessly and unapologetically pursue what he wants—a quality that has factored into the success of his young company, 1st Round.
1st Round is essentially an entertainment company that reaches into sports, music, and film, founded in 2009 by Teague, Zack Johnson, Sterling Brewster, and Teague’s younger brother, Riley Egan. Early on, the trio made some smart investments—they were not only investing in start-ups, but also bought a bunch of Apple shares—that have yielded great returns. And today, the company's focus is as diverse as the founders' sporatic and ever-changing interests.
With most founders post-graduation (Riley still attends the University of California-Los Angeles), they have been concentrating their efforts into growing the company. And, well, living out their entrepreneurial dreams.
“To me, its all about the adventure,” Teague says. “Its all about creating opportunities for myself and my friends so we can live a life we please.”
From the beginning, 1st Round has done things a little off the cuff. On a whim, while he was still a student at USC, Teague decided he'd launch a sports arm of the company by becoming the youngest certified NFL agent (he has yet to represent any athletes). Another whim: The group decided to create a record label when a rap battle broke out on a Nantucket beach, where they were spending the Fourth of July weekend. They signed artist Sammy Adams shortly after. Adams's Boston's Boy EP went on to debut at No. 1 on the iTunes hip-hop chart in its first week in March 2010.
“We definitely try to create this cool, laid-back culture founded on the principles of winning and fun,” says Teague.
According to Teague, the company brings in revenues of more than $1 million a year—mostly from its music artists and investments. Growth plans include expanding into additional sectors of the entertainment industry. Since Sammy Adams, 1st Round has signed two other artists and is currently in the process of developing an athletic apparel line (expected to be released in 2013) that allegedly will be used to help athletes increase their power, speed, and endurance by incorporating new technologies. Yes, these guys want to do it all.
“We are looking to create a culture where all the aspects of our creativity are involved,” says Teague. “We want to cover the whole spectrum—incorporating all levels of the company, with each separate division linked in some way to all the others.”
Right now, the company’s most premature division is film, but Teague says it's one he hopes to grow in the not-too-distant future. The company is working on a television show based on their lives, which they're calling 1st Rounders. Judging by the way they talk, they're already primed for reality TV.
“Our company motto is ‘go higher’ and that’s what we try to do everyday. We try to win the day—everyday,” says Teague. “That pretty much embodies everything our company is all about.”
For more, check out this video, which was created by and submitted to Inc.com by 1st Round.
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Thank you to these organizations that provided nominations: Arizona State University, Babson College, Belmont University, Boston Beta, Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation (CESI), Chapman University, Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization, Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, Global Entrepreneurship Week, Kairos Society, Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, Middlebury College, National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Young Entrepreneur Council