A Clarkson University alumnus has launched a new business with the help of Clarkson’s Shipley Center for Innovation.
David Hollingshead ’18, who studied Mechanical Engineering at Clarkson, has invented a game called Skipball and is now introducing it to the public at www.skipballshop.com.
Skipball is an indoor/outdoor family-friendly competitive game that can be played anywhere that has an elevated flat surface, like a folding table, picnic table or bench, and is fun for all ages. Skipball can also be played on any level ground but is specifically made for a higher surface.
Hollingshead said the idea for the game was born out of boredom in a high school classroom, where he and his friends were trying to come up with a way to pass the time.
“A tennis ball and a thoughtfully placed line of desks served as the playing field to an innovative new game,” Hollingshead said. “Rules were added, changed, and disregarded as the game became more and more competitive. Add in a set of trash cans and the set up was complete”
Hollingshead brought the idea to Clarkson with him, where he worked to refine Skipball. While at Clarkson, the Shipley Center for Innovation played an instrumental role in his business dream coming to fruition.
“Clarkson as a whole, and the Shipley center allowed me to bring my ideas into reality,” Hollingshead said. “A lot of people never bring their ideas to life, but Clarkson really embraces young entrepreneurs by giving them the tools and people to back whatever they are bringing to the table. Whether it is design work, marketing, or overall business development, they will help you at each step of the process to make sure you are hitting each milestone. Clarkson not only has provided me a great education, but allowed me to flourish outside of academics to be the best overall person I could be.”
Hollingshead said, most importantly, the Shipley Center helped instill confidence in him and encouraged him to continue pursuing his dream. The Shipley Center made various resources available to Hollingshead, and even assisted with a provisional patent on Skipball.
Hollingshead has also added a charitable aspect to his business. Skipball will donate $2 from the sale of each game to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
“Skipball is devoted to donating two dollars of every game to the National Breast Cancer Foundation for many reasons, but mainly knowing the amount of devastation cancer can cause to everyone associated,” Hollingshead said. “If we can raise awareness, help in research, and most importantly create a smile when it is needed most, then we have done our part. A small portion of positivity can mean the world to someone who needs it most, and Skipball will continue to be a partner aiding in this cause.”
As for the future, Hollingshead said, “it is all about enjoying the game.”
“I hope that my game can provide endless fun for all ages,” he said “The competitive nature of the game allows it to be played at all sorts of events and fun for all ages. Whether it is in the backyard for a family party, a tailgate for a concert, a college campus, or back to its roots in a school classroom, I believe it will be enjoyed by all.”