Class Notes Profiles
Brian Wroblewski, Bus Ad ’98, Grad ’04, turned his hobby into a business.
Wroblewski is co-founder of Golf Pipeline (golfpipeline.com), a social media website that lets members select tee times, invite friends to play, track scores, join a handicap club and communicate with golf buddies.
The site’s model is similar to one Wroblewski entered to win Marquette’s 2008 Business Plan Competition. Though the judges saw value of Groupon-like deals for the sport, the prototype wasn’t well-received by course owners.
“We had to take two years to rethink our strategy, and, when we re-emerged in 2011, we were able to launch what we have today,” Wroblewski says. “Although our plan changed considerably, the competition really helped us figure out how to tell our story concisely. I’m thankful for that because we’ve had to do it several times since.”
Today, a website connecting people with the same hobby may seem like a no-brainer. But in 2008, it was a relatively new idea. “Looking at our initial plans, there were a lot of aspects similar to social media sites that didn’t even exist yet,” Wroblewski says, “As the Internet has evolved, so have we.”
Golf Pipeline has more than 2,500 members and offers tee times in 13 states, with the heaviest concentration in Milwaukee, Chicago and Kansas City. It continues to expand, much to Wroblewski’s liking and chagrin. “I spent an awful lot of time building this business, and my golf game has suffered from it,” he admits. — Jennifer Szink