A TCU sports broadcasting student is putting his career on hold and creating a gambling application that could change the way people engage with the world of sports.
Trent Attyah said his goal after graduating in May 2020 was to land a job as the voice of a professional sports team, but his plan changed after he came up with the idea of BookIt.
BookIt would allow bettors to socialize, engage with each other, and stay informed on sports news. However, Attyah needs to raise $20,000 by Oct. 17 if the app has any chance of being funded.
The Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting in May of 2018. According to ESPN, 13 states have legalized sports betting since then, with more states moving toward legalization.
Attyah said he spent the entire plane ride home after finishing his last final exam last semester creating the pitch deck.
When he landed in Los Angeles his mother, Dianne, said he went straight to his room and shut the door.
“I have an idea and I’m going to do it and no one is going to steal my idea,” she recalls him saying.
Dianne said she didn’t understand the idea initially because she’s never gambled before, but after he explained it she saw a need for her son’s idea.
This project has been anything but cheap, however. Dianne said every dollar Attyah made while interning at the NFL Network over the summer, he used towards the app. So far, he has spent about $12,000 to build the prototype.
As a sports broadcasting major, Attyah has little to no background on how to start a business.
“I was really was kind of unsure exactly what I was doing because I’ve never taken a business class,” Attyah said.
But as a businesswoman herself, Dianne said she would sit with him “hours on end going over how to do things.”
This app has something other sports app don’t have: it allows users to communicate with each other to make informed bets on games and players.
“I think BookIt is going to help gamblers and help people like myself, who might not be the most experienced gamblers, take the information they’re seeing from other people and make more educated bets,” said Matt Mayer, a senior business major at TCU.
Attyah used social media to his advantage when it came to connecting with people who could endorse his idea. This ultimately led him to a LinkedIn connection with former NBA player Metta World Peace.
His first pitch was over the phone to the basketball star. Although he was very interested, the idea seemed a little too premature for him to get involved. Attyah said World Peace is still following up with him.
Attyah has raised $6,000 on his Kickstarter so far, a number that is rising every day.