Michael Luscher was not cut from the cloth of a traditional entrepreneur, but he has officially made it in the apparel business, growing POINT 3 Basketball into a multi-million dollar company focused primarily on selling team uniforms. Today, the Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls outfit their youth programs with Luscher's product.
Luscher did not start POINT 3 Basketball because he hated the idea of working for someone else or had an overwhelming desire to be his own boss. In fact, Luscher worked at big companies such as the National Football League and Major League Baseball for a dozen years prior to going out on his own.
What turned Luscher into an entrepreneur is that he had an idea that he could not shake and would have been filled with regret if he did not follow his passion. He created POINT 3 Basketball based on the idea that it was too good to not pursue.
The company launched in 2010 with a very distinct, exclusive focus on innovative gear designed for the basketball player. It was wrapped around intellectual property that would be perfect for the athlete who was constantly exerting energy and sweating as a result.
Luscher's extremely simple pitch was: Do you sweat when you play ball? What do you do when your hands are sweaty? What if you had a towel on your shorts?
When mothers or fathers of athletes would hear the pitch, they would often ask why no one had thought of the idea and whetherLuscher had been on Shark Tank as of yet. Luscher never went on Shark Tank, and has thankfully had a network of supporters and investors to support his company's growth.
"I'm a basketball player and love the game," says Luscher. "So I knew I could speak authentically to the basketball player, and if I had proprietary technology, then I could make noise in the space."
Luscher's proof of concept was that if he could make noise in the basketball space, then the technology of integrating a towel into a garment could have a much broader application and bring in a lot more money. In January, he launched DRYV Technologies, focused exclusively on licensing his technology to third-party performance apparel brands.
POINT 3 Basketball has become a non-exclusive licensee of the technology in the basketball space. A leading esports accessories brandKontrolFreek has also been added as a licensee, expanding its brand to soft goods and pushing a line of performance gear.
"Hands are such a critical part of being in esports at high performance levels," adds Luscher.
Now, DRYV Technologies is looking at the culinary, military and tactical, law enforcement, and medical industries as markets for licensing opportunities.
"Think about how often sweat can inhibit performance," says Luscher. "We think DRYV has a place there."
Luscher believes that part of what allowed him to go to market with DRYV Technologies is that he protected and enforced his intellectual property, which is an important lesson in proactive protection for all entrepreneurs.
"We had running litigation with Nike," explains Luscher, referring to a previously filed patent lawsuit. "I'm happy that we were able to settle that litigation, and proud that we were successfully able to defend our intellectual property."
He also says that all entrepreneurs should be nimble and ready to adapt to what the market is interested in and demanding.
"You have a strategy and you go to market with that strategy, but always have to keep eyes and ears up to what the market dictates," says Luscher. "Sometimes you have to pivot or alter your strategy."
At first, Luscher was all-in on his basketball products, but he saw the big picture potential of re-focusing his core business on licensing his technology, and now the ceiling has been raised.