Imani works with youth coaches to embed endurance training, team bonding, and skill evaluations into their training curriculum.
She is a member of the spring 2023 Entrepreneur Rising Academy cohort. We caught up with her recently to learn more about her entrepreneur journey.
Launch Dayton: Introduce yourself — who are you and what is your company?
Imani: My name is Imani Spratling, and I am former cheerleader, dancer, and gymnast. I graduated from the University of Memphis with my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports management. I started a company that trains cheer and dance teams by incorporating endurance training, team bonding, and skill evaluations.
How did your company start?
My company started in November of 2022, after I listened to a podcast about following your dreams. I was tired of just talking about my plansto start a business, so I decided to “ just start now.”
Why this idea?
As a former athlete, I noticed a hole in the industry. Every team seemed to have the same three issues, which are under-conditioned athletes, an athlete who does not have the skills needed to compete, and unnecessary drama throughout the season.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
I knew from the age of 9 that I was going to own a successful business in the youth sports industry, but I wasn’t quite sure of the exact business I would start.
The Launch Dayton community values are: 1. Be Bold 2. All Are Welcome 3. People First 4. Give First 5. Remove Barriers. How do you embody one or more of these values?
I am bold! I believe in myself and whatever dream I have, I chase it. No matter how hard or difficult it may be. My favorite quote is “Before you become too old, make sure you are living the life you created, not the one that was given to you.”
What identities or life experiences do you bring to entrepreneurship that helped prepare you for this lifestyle?
My father is a real estate and lawn care entrepreneur, and he has always motivated me to be more and see more. The skills that equipped me for entrepreneurship are my organizational and leadership abilities.
What is the biggest barrier you’ve faced on your entrepreneur journey?
The biggest barrier I have faced as an entrepreneur is getting my initial clients. Coaches have always been fascinated by the structure of my business and my personal expertise, but getting them to commit to a full 9 months has been a challenge. I am just in the startup phase, so it will all come together at the right time.
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do because I was once an athlete, and I know what would have made my cheer and dance experience better, so I want to use my business and my platform to give that experience to current cheerleaders and dancers.
What advice would you offer fellow or aspiring entrepreneurs?
Just start! You don’t need to know all the details, just the idea and the determination that you will achieve your goals by any means necessary. That is all you need. The best advice I can give to a fellow entrepreneur is go before you are ready. There is never a perfect time to start something new!
How can the Launch Dayton community support you?
The help I need in my business right now would be recommendations and referrals to local high school cheer and dance coaches.
How was your experience with Entrepreneur Rising Academy?
I coach at a dance fitness gym with another entrepreneur who took the Entrepreneur Rising Academy course and loved it, so I decided to sign up to experience it for myself. The Academy helped me to meet other entrepreneurs around the city and learn from several professional business leaders. 100% would recommend to any entrepreneur in need of connections and guidance on their business structure.