The news came to Jason Shatsky ’21 as a shock: In early March, the National Basketball Association suspended its season.
For Shatsky, it was the first domino to fall in a wave of league, tournament, and event suspensions, cancellations, and postponements that crippled the live entertainment industry.
Some may have panicked. Not an emerging leader like Shatsky. Despite plans to formally launch his reverse ticket marketplace later that month, Shatsky used the time to strengthen his company’s weaknesses.
“(The pandemic has) allowed myself and our company additional time to continue testing our product, building a wait list for early access, improving our presence on social media,” said Shatsky, founder of TicketRev, a Babson College Summer Catalyst entrepreneur and former B.E.T.A. Challenge finalist. “All of these things ensure that when we do launch, it’s greater than expected.”
Babson College’s entrepreneurial emerging leaders don’t hesitate to seize opportunities. When the already surging tiny home industry met our current crisis, TK Trailer Parts founder Tyler Ratanamongkala-Bray ’23 saw potential.
“We are big players in the tiny home movement,” said Ratanamongkala-Bray, whose company was named to the 2019 Inc. 5000 list of The Most Successful Companies in America. “It’s not going to happen right away, but there’s going to be growth in that industry.
“I want to be part of the forefront of that,” he added.
For Ratanamongkala-Bray, 22, this mindset goes back to his years as a teenager. His father, also an entrepreneur, runs a trailer manufacturing company. When Ratanamongkala-Bray discovered a lack of an online market for trailer parts like wheels, tires, and axles, he jumped to fill the void.
“I took it and ran from there,” he said. “These trailer parts are commodity items, what we do to differentiate our company is parts kits.”
To better balance classes and his business, Ratanamongkala-Bray pivoted TK Trailer Parts to a virtual management format prior to coming to Babson College in January. That pivot positioned the company well ahead of the coming months.
At Babson, the only higher education institution that offers a relational approach to business, he is a member of the Institute of Family Entrepreneurship’s Family Amplifier course, which shows future generations how they can take advantage of their family’s entrepreneurship legacy and achieve their own personal and career goals, whether in or beyond the existing family business.
After returning home following the College’s transition online, Ratanamongkala-Bray successfully juggled classes, running his business, and helping his eight younger siblings with their remote learning experiences.
“I have an amazing team, they get the job done,” he said. “Even if I’m not there, they know exactly what the mission is. As an emerging leader, I’ve learned proper communication is essential.
“All we see is exponential profitable growth,” Ratanamongkala-Bray added, mentioning recent hires, expansion into Canada and Mexico, and ambitions to double revenue by the end of next year. “I want to become a household brand.”
For so many products and services, the secondary market has long been in control of the seller. TicketRev was established through empowering the buyer, allowing customers to place individual bids for live event tickets based off price and quantity.
Work on TicketRev began in January 2019. Days before preparing to launch, the coronavirus overwhelmed the nation. Like so many emerging leaders know, adapting in this next normal, Shatsky said, was critical.
“I have an amazing team, they get the job done. As an emerging leader, I’ve learned proper communication is essential.”
Tyler Ratanamongkala-Bray ’23, TK Trailer Parts founder
“This has showed us circumstances not within my control will naturally change the course of the business. Learning it while being a student at the same time is such a good lesson,” he said.
When fans and attendees return to stadiums and arenas, Shatsky plans to launch and work to become Boston’s premier source for secondary tickets in his continuous effort to disrupt the industry.
“It’s ultimately our goal to make buying and reselling tickets easier and more convenient,” Shatsky said. “The day to day of an entrepreneur (has) those ups and downs. The mentality for us as a team is to remain positive.”
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