Italo Robinson: Hawaii's Newest Entrepeneur

Italo Robinson is a 21 year old junior, majoring in Business Management here at UH, and, NBD,  he's an entrepeneur and the winner of Hawaii's round of the 2014 Global Starup Battle. He, along with partner and friend David Holt, had a simple idea, now known as Varsity Prep, and took it all the way to a real up and running business in only 54 hours, not to mention there is a $25,000 grant waiting to help them grow if they continue to develop and gain populatirty in the next month. I had the lucky chance to sit down with Italo and find out how Varsity Prep came to be and what he hopes to get out of this experience.


Varsity Prep provides an opportunity for aspiring young athletes to get affordable one-on-one coaching from college mentors. It not only provides an opportunity for kids, but for college students who have athletic skills to offer and share with the next generation. 

How did this idea come about?

Varsity Prep was developed the way a lot of new and innovative businesses come about: Seeing a problem or a need and coming up with a solution. After coaching his little brother every other day in soccer, Italo noticed that his brother's talents were growing and wanted to get him a private coach, but they were all too expensive. His brother didn't need a professional coach to develop his skills and prepare him for the next level, he simply needed a mentor to inspire him and work with him on a regular basis.  As mentioned in the video, Varsity Prep also takes advantage of tons of college students who have experience playing sports but did not play in the NCAA by making them the coaches for the athletes.

Why do the Startup Challenge?

After talking to friends, classmates, coworkers, and family, Italo realized he was at a crossroads with this idea. He contacted David Holt, president of the Entrpereneur's Club, who advised that they enter the idea into the Startup Challenge to see if this idea could go the distance and was worth pursuing. Two presentations, countless meetings with web developers and professional consultants, and 54 hours later, this idea became a reality and Italo and his partner walked away with 1st prize and a $25,000 investment.  He says it's a crazy experience but that if you have an idea, this is a great way to make it happen.

What's next for Italo and Varsity Prep?

After winning this round of the Global Startup Battle, Varsity Prep is going to compete at the regional level, which includes winners from California and Washington. In order to advance past this level, they need votes! So if you believe in this business and you or a loved one want to be a part of this amazing experience, please VOTE  at this website.  Italo is fully invested in his company and has big plans for year 1. These plans include finding 50 coaches to teach 600+ lessons for the children of 200 parents. It's ambitious to say the least, but Italo has a special committment to providing value and opportunity to coaches, parents, and of course kids with the belief that providing for others is the best way to provide for yourself. In the next 3-5 years, he wants Varsity Prep to come to the mainland and expand this style of coaching and mentoring outside of sports to music and academics.

If you like this idea and want to show your support for Italo and Varsity Prep, please vote and like the company on Facebook! The HCHI staff wishes him luck and looks forward to watching this company grow!