When duty called, Whitehouse scored
On November 8, Jacob Whitehouse launched his website. The senior majoring in golf management with a minor in business put his entrepreneurial skills into play when he cocreated Call of Duty Coach.com.
Whitehouse said that he learned the ins-and-outs of how to create a business through his classes at Florida Gulf Coast University. His friend and business partner, Chris Baldwin, had gathered a multitude of knowledge from his courses in fi nance. Together they developed a community for gamers to join, learn and discuss the popular video game, Call of Duty (COD.) Noticing that other websites focus mainly on discussions and videos posted by members who play at an expert level for that specifi c video game (i.e., World of War Craft community sites), Whitehouse and Baldwin recognized these websites for their great information but also criticized them for not offering instruction to all experience levels of game players. That’s when they decided to create their own website to help those who want to get better.
“The business is designed to bring the Call of Duty gaming community together in an instructional way,” Whitehouse said. “Professionals from YouTube as well as Call of Duty (are a) part of our staff, and paid to publish instructional content for gamers to subscribe and see.”
COD Coach.com provides discussion and videos based on different aspects of the game such as design, the use of weapons, map strategies, game modes, and kill streaks. Instructional videos on the site are provided through the subscribers and Call of Duty game professionals. Youtube professionals such as GreenGoblinHD are also a part of the website’s staff. Subscribers of COD Coach.com can view videos, articles, and forums posted in the community. The cost to subscribe is $3.49 per month. After coming up with the idea, it only took two months to launch the website. COD Coach.com currently has Whitehouse and Baldwin as CEO’s for the company and employs a staff of eight people. Launching a full website in as little as two months is not an easy task, especially if it is your fi rst business. Even with the education Whitehouse and Baldwin received, bringing COD Coach.com to life was diffi cult. There were many obstacles to overcome. One in particular involved the 16 day government shut which ran from Oct. 1-17. The government shutdown prevented Whitehouse from obtaining his business’s legal liability company (LLC) for COD Coach.com. Although the process wasn’t necessarily easy, Whitehouse says the experience was well worth it.
“It’s rewarding knowing that people are coming to me for business,” Whitehouse said. “It used to be that I would have to ask professionals to be a part of this. Now it’s the other way around.”
Determination, time, and education seem to be the key components of what makes a potential entrepreneur an entrepreneur. Being a college student and creating your own business is not unrealistic. For potential entrepreneurial business owners, Whitehouse has this advice: “I recommend fi nding a mentor to help you through the process (of starting your fi rst business),” Whitehouse said. “We didn’t have a mentor and I think that that made it more diffi cult to put together. Also create a reasonable time line for things to get done.”Student Jacob Whitehouse, a senior majoring in golf management, is the CEO of a new gaming website, CODCoach.com