FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12-YEAR-OLD INVENTOR DONATING HIS TIME TO INSPIRE OTHERS TO GO AFTER THEIR DREAMS
Founder of Locker Board skateboards is sharing his story about Shark Tank and how he landed Sir Richard Branson as his investor at upcoming events, including a TED event, in hopes to inspire others to go after their dreams.
San Clemente, CA (January 29, 2018) At age 11, Locker Board founder Carson Kropfl faced the “Sharks” in the season 9 premiere of ABC’s hit business reality show Shark Tank and struck a deal for his innovative skateboard company. The show’s celebrity investors heard the young entrepreneur’s pitch and fought to partner with Locker Board, the first non-folding, compact and sustainable skateboard designed to fit in a locker or backpack.
Sir Richard Branson, business magnate, investor, philanthropist and founder of the Virgin Group outbid Mark Cuban, billionaire businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks as well as Robert Herjavec, tech entrepreneur and investor, for the opportunity to invest in Locker Board. Branson told Carson that the reason he invested in the 7th grader was because he reminded him of himself.
"Sir Richard is an amazing mentor and advisor. I’m learning a tremendous amount from him and his team on how to delegate, network and run a business. In November of 2017 I was asked to do a guest blog for Virgin.com. Because of that post, I have received invitations to speak all over the world and sold tons of Locker Board skateboards. My business has grown 300% since Shark Tank aired. It's been amazing." said Carson.
The young inventor realizes the opportunities he's been given are rare, and what he's learning is invaluable. "It's not every day this happens. I've had thousands of people from all over the world reach out and ask how I was able to get on Shark Tank and land Sir Richard as my investor at such a young age, in such a short amount of time. What a lot of people don't realize is that it took me four years to get on the show and competitors tried to stop me along the way. This wasn't an overnight success story and I’ve learned a lot of tough lessons."
Kropfl says the reason all this has happened for him boils down to three things: Seizing the moment, never giving up and believing in yourself. In 2018, in addition to working on turning Locker Board into a global brand, he is sharing his story and this message to people all over the world in hopes to inspire others. He recently gave a masterclass in Australia via Skype to an auditorium full of young entrepreneurs for the Innovation Institute and spoke at an IMA International Executive Committee Event in South Coast Plaza with one of his advisors, Wing Lam, Co-Founder of Wahoo's Taco.
On February 2, 2018 Kropfl will speak to undergrads at USC Marshall School of Business about how to give a pitch during their Marshall Career Conference. On March 12 he will speak to the Youth Leadership Council at Pretend City Children's Museum in Irvine. On April 21 Kropfl will be a featured speaker at a TED event called TEDxKids@ElCajon. The TED event is coined "Infinity and Beyond" and will have approximately 2,000 attendees. His speech will be filmed and available on TED.com following the event.
"I like speaking, sharing my story and inspiring other people. I've worked really hard and learned so much. I think it's important to share what I'm learning and help others," explained Kropfl.
Kropfl is excited about 2018. "I work closely with the team at Virgin to help grow my business. A few things I have planned with them include meeting up with Sir Richard, possible visits and tours of Virgin companies (one of them, Virgin Orbit, is near me in Long Beach), and hopefully this year, a visit to the Virgin headquarters in London where I will bring my Independent Youth Group over for the day to meet the team there," shared Kropfl.
Kropfl is currently preparing to launch his Spring Line of Locker Board Skateboards called "The Golden Line". The skateboards will be available in April 2018 on Lockerboard.net and Amazon.com. He has a new product he'll be introducing and will share more details as it gets closer to the launch date. Kropfl explained, "I'm focused on my online sales because it gives me a global reach and allows me to collect valuable information about my customers and their needs. I've had hundreds of thousands of people hit my website and over 55% of them visit from their mobile device. My generation is all about their cell phones. Shark Tank and Sir Richard have given me tremendous exposure and growth. I'm excited to see what happens this year!"
Thanks to his partnership with Branson, Kropfl has been able to hire a manufacturer and keep Locker Board sustainable. "Noah Murphy-Reinhertz, the Lead of Sustainable Innovation at Nike is an incredible mentor to me. He's helping me make Locker Board even more sustainable and has taught me the importance of creating products that are good for the planet and good for the customer. Creating sustainable products and supporting sustainable companies should be a priority for all of us. The US is the top producer of trash in the world. We have a social responsibility to help stop the pollution of our planet," said Kropfl.
The ocean has been Kropfl's inspiration for his business and ideas. He started Locker Board to pay for his surf contests and lessons. He invented his first product, Streetubez, so he could surf anywhere, anytime. Kropfl shared, "The ocean needs our help. It's turning into plastic soup. Over 8 million tons of plastic goes in the ocean each year. In 2050 it's estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean." Locker Board now donates $1 for each skateboard sold to Ocean Unite. Ocean Unite is a non-profit focused on uniting and activating powerful voices for ocean conservation.
Richard Branson started Ocean Unite with the former President of Costa Rica, President Figueres. Kropfl had the opportunity to speak to President Figueres and is excited about helping Ocean Unite and making people aware of the dangers the ocean faces. "The ocean is everybody's business. It has an amazing ability to regenerate itself and we can help it – this can be a story of hope," explained Kropfl.
ABOUT LOCKER BOARD
Carson Kropfl of San Clemente, CA started Locker Board in October 2016, when he was 11 years old. He had just begun middle school and wanted a skateboard that fit in his backpack and locker. None of his skateboards would, so he decided to create one. His parents told him he had to clean and do chores to pay for his surf contests and surf lessons. Carson hates to clean, so he asked if he could try selling his Locker Board skateboards instead. Now, he's designed the only non-folding, sustainable skateboard on the market that can fit inside a backpack, appeared on the season premier of Shark Tank and landed Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, as his investor. The ocean has been Carson’s inspiration for his business and ideas. He started Locker Board to pay for his surf contests and lessons. He invented his first product, Streetubez, so he could surf anywhere, anytime. That’s why Locker Board now donates $1 for every skateboard sold to Ocean Unite. Ocean Unite is a non-profit focused on uniting and activating powerful voices for ocean conservation.
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