Keir Beadling

CEO, Evolve Sports and Mavericks Surf Ventures, San Francisco, CA

    Photo: Illustration by Tavis Coburn

I'd been a lawyer for eight years and was tired of keeping track of time in six-minute increments. So in late 2001, I did that stereotypical thing where you sit at the keyboard and think, What's next? I started Evolve a month later. The idea was to be the IMG of action sports. I built my Web site and a stable of athletes that I would represent. It was a roller coaster early on. Then, in 2003, we bought the Silicon Valley Marathon and, after raising money from an angel investor, launched Mavericks Surf Ventures, which owns the Mavericks brand and produces the surf contest. We have grand aspirations for Mavericks: We launched an apparel line in February, we're rolling out a live concert tour this summer, and we have plans for a film tour. I raised $1.4 million of private equity selling into the teeth of the recession. If you can distinguish your business, there are opportunities.

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