By Ben Beaghan, Communications and Marketing intern
Who says you can’t be both young and successful? Oakland University sophomore and entrepreneur Ross Maghielse is building on an already successful career in broadcasting as founder and part owner of the growing Michigan Sports Radio.
Maghielse used to be an avid basketball player for Rockford High School, but he was forced to stop playing because of a recurring hamstring injury. His love for sports drove him to stay involved in athletics, and he came up with an idea to broadcast high school games over the Internet.
“Buying FM time is pretty difficult and expensive to do. Then I got the idea that I could stream my broadcasts over the Internet. It would be much easier and I wouldn’t have to pay for air time,” Maghielse said.
To gather the funds he needed to get his broadcasting company off the ground, Maghielse called on Brock Konkel, a small business owner in the Rockford area. Konkel loved Maghielse’s idea and not only offered to fund the business, he also made Maghielse a 35 percent owner of the company.
Maghielse’s decision to enroll in Oakland University was primarily a business move.
“It was convenient for me because I broadcast for Detroit Country Day. OU is by far the best university in the area. That’s why I chose it, to help broaden my network of people and hopefully expand the company,” Maghielse said.
Michigan Sports Radio is based in the Grand Rapids area, but Magielse hopes to expand across the state.
“We have some people that volunteer in different areas of the state. These people just like to commentate for the teams, so we pay for all of their equipment, and they do the commentating for free,” Magielse said. A true entrepreneur, he plans to spend his time at OU networking while studying journalism and broadcasting.
“The most important thing for anyone is networking. Students who want to start their own business really just need to start networking. Getting to know different people can help with your reputation and ability to find what you need. Getting involved with people, even if it means volunteering, is a very good idea,” Magielse said.
“The people you know will know other people,” Magielse said. “If I had gone to a loaning agency wanting all the money I needed to get this company up and running, they probably would have turned me down. But since I knew Brock, I was able to start my business.”
Magielse is looking at the future as a big opportunity, and will continue to lead the way as a young company owner.