4 October 2019
A group assignment during university has transformed into a start-up business for USC graduate, Jackson Dickfos. The aspiring entrepreneur completed a Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science at USC in 2017 and has gone onto winning global pitches for his innovative online network business called SportsCube.
A day in the life of Jackson is never the same. It can range from meetings in the morning with investors and business advisors, to design and product development in the afternoons.
USC Parent Lounge recently spoke with Jackson about how his USC degree prepared him for the exciting journey of entrepreneurship.
What did you study at USC? I studied a double bachelor’s degree in Business and Exercise Sport Science, which is now only offered as two separate degrees.
Why did you decide to study this? I was heavily involved in sport at an elite level during my teenage years, so I was very interested in enhancing the performance of the human body. The business side was motivated by my parents who thought it would be a great idea to gain a reasonable level of financial knowledge and understanding. The initial plan was just to figure out which side I preferred better, not necessarily to continue with both degrees for four years, but that’s exactly what happened.
What was your favourite thing about your degree? How did it prepare you? My degree, without a doubt, enhanced my ability to network and collaborate. My favourite part was accomplishing great things together in groups and teams of people. I was able to learn a lot from my peers, both academically and personally through working together inside and outside of class. That unique camaraderie and mateship has resulted in me doing business with many of my university cohort connections today.
What are your doing now? How would you describe your journey since graduating? What have been some of your proud moments? I am the current CEO of a startup called SportsCube. I co-founded the business with some fellow USC students, as the idea was born during our degrees through a group assessment. SportsCube is a sponsorship marketplace that helps grassroots sporting organisations create and sell their sponsorship opportunities.
We have had many significant milestones along our journey but no bigger than being selected in the largest and most prestigious sport tech accelerator in the world, HYPE SPIN Sports Innovation. This made us 1 of 37 sports tech startups in the world and 1 of 12 in Australia. At the completion of the entire accelerator we ended up taking out 1st prize and winning the global pitch.
What does an ‘average’ day in your job look like? Each day is incredibly different. It can range from meetings in the morning with investors and business advisors, to designing and product development in the afternoons. Currently our startup is raising investment so we’re constantly travelling and pitching our product every week to angel investors and venture capital firms.
How is your industry changing? There are more young people trying to start a business today than ever before. Technology is giving entrepreneurs leverage to make traditional processes much more convenient. There is positive change even at a corporate level with businesses having more of an awareness on social contribution and environmentally friendly processes.
What is something about your career/industry that many people don’t know? The startup world is incredibly demanding. Many serious entrepreneurs don’t work the 9-5 work day, instead they are working 8-8 and are doing it 7 days a week. Working 100-hour weeks to test, fix and get new products to market at particular periods during the year, is not uncommon.
What is your favourite thing about your job/career? My favourite thing about the business world is that it can be so uncanny. Decisions and occurrences are spontaneous and as an entrepreneur you can make significant impacts on people’s lives that least expect it, just because you decided you wanted to.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in your area? Network like crazy. The business world is about a combination of what you know and who you know, but who you know and their respect for you can sometimes open doors that are very hard to open otherwise.
If your child is interested in a career in the business world, check out the range of Business degrees USC offers. Applications are now open to study in 2020.