October 19, 2022

How BETA Camp Helped Rhett Bike Into Business

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"Before BETA Camp, I always had the mindset that as a high school kid raising $100,000 from private investors was literally impossible."

Rhett Jones

Meet Rhett Jones, the 17-year founder of Texas' largest mountain bike park, Station Mountain.

Though still a junior in high school, Rhett has:

  • Raised $3 Million for his bike park
  • Secured a land grant
  • Oversaw construction and launched the business
  • Brought in $20k in profit in his opening weekend

But in 2022, this was a very different story.

""Before BETA Camp, I wasn't even hyped about entrepreneurship. I didn't know that you could just straight up start a business; like, you could just go do it, like anyone could. That just wasn't an idea that crossed my mind at all."

Rhett decided to join BETA Camp in Summer 2022 on a whim because his friends were joining. Little did he know, it would create a shift in his mindset that would change the rest of his high school journey, and career.

During the program, Rhett created a startup that had an entirely different focus: connecting students with expert instructors. TechCafe was a platform to allow high school students to join weekly talks with experts and mentors. That startup "didn't go anywhere" but what Rhett and his teammates did get was the skills and confidence to start chasing their dreams.

"The most motivating thing was seeing other high schoolers make successful businesses. The main thing is just the motivation, just seeing that it was possible to make a business, seeing that any kid can make a business that that was the key factor.

Going through the process of building a real business in such a short amount of time convinced Rhett that he didn't have to wait to start building and pursuing his passions.

"Actually trying to start this business and make a social media page and get customers... that was fun. And that showed me that. 'oh, wow, this is this is possible.' The fact that you actually got to make an actual business, like, instead of making a prototype or a business plan that was really cool."

After the summer, Rhett applied that mindset to his his long-term passion: mountain biking.

He created a professional pitch video, started mining his network and BETA Camp connections, met with investors, and drew up the plan for a mountain bike park outside Austin, Texas.

He started putting his plan into action during the school year after BETA Camp, through AlphaX.

Rhett's Pitch Video

Today, Rhett balances his academics with running a profitable business on the weekends.

"We brought in $20k in profit just an opening weekend, which is pretty exciting. Like just on that Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

For Rhett, it's not about the money though. He sees Station Mountain as a step on a much larger journey: building the world's best bike park.

"I really see Station Mountain Bike Park as a stepping stone for my entrepreneurial future. These bike parks that I'm currently making in high school are just a step in the overall dream of making the world's best bike park."
"It was a accumulation of factors that changed my mind on entrepreneurship. The mentors that I had were really important. Without BETA Camp, I don't really think I'd be making a business."

To learn more, check out Rhett's feature in Texas Monthly, Texas’s Newest Mountain Bike Park Was Built by a Fearless Teen Entrepreneur.

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