Marketing and Communications

Kyle Dickman

Business student has already launched his own venture

Kyle Dickman
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Major: Individualized business/entrepreneurship
Scholarships: Leo Dirmeyer Scholarship; Norman Seaman Memorial Scholarship; Lewis Becker Fund Scholarship; College of Business Administration Scholarship; BGSU Centennial Scholarship
Involvement: Entrepreneurship Club; BGSU Waterski Team

Kyle was in his first business class at BGSU when he found the inspiration to start his own business. A faculty member recognized his passion — water sports — and urged him to attend trade shows related to the recreational activity. After finding an affordable product at the trade show in Florida, he sold the sports car he’d saved for in high school and partnered with his father — an entrepreneur himself as owner of a graphic design firm — to gather $5,000 for startup costs. His multiple scholarships in business and entrepreneurship enabled him to use his startup savings for his business venture, rather than his tuition costs. Bros Boards was born. Three years later, business continues to grow. He’s working through the Dallas-Hamilton Center’s Falcon Hatchery to get ideas to expand the venture. Kyle annually sells about 80 paddleboards, and dreams of partnering with his suppliers to create a recreational park in South Carolina after graduation.

Why BGSU? “What really drove me to Bowling Green was their individualized business program. I didn’t like that a lot of colleges said, ‘You have to take these classes at these times.’ As a small business owner, I’ll need to learn management, finance, and marketing. Dean (Ray Braun) is also working to get mentors to help me create an expansion plan to pitch to investors.”

How do you spend your time out of class? “I grew up on the water. I love wakeboarding, tubing, and watching sports has always been my passion. But the business keeps me really busy. In the summer, it’s a full-time job. I’m on the phone all day trying to get demos and pitch to potential customers. Next year, I’m really going to try to get into rentals to introduce the paddleboard to first-timers. I also want to bring in another brand that is more upscale.”

Best part about BGSU? “I feel like BG gives you the possibility to find (the) major that fits you best, and gives you the resources to make sure you get there.”