Luke Strang ’20 has played lacrosse since childhood and is on the men’s lacrosse team at Syracuse University. Originally from Olney, Maryland, he is now a senior finishing a degree in marketing at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Primarily interested in sales marketing, Strang chose to pursue this area of study because it encompasses an array of skills and requires one to look at business scenarios from a consumer perspective.
In December, Strang was part of the third-place team for the fall semester Whitman Capstone competition. The group’s business idea, Goalie Guardian, is a company that creates specialty lacrosse goalie products, like their proposed product RippShield. The RippShield attaches to the head of a goalie’s lacrosse stick to cover their top hand, providing greater hand protection without affecting the range of motion or standard functionality.
The goal of the Goalie Guardian company is to continue to introduce specialty goalie products that will increase player safety and performance. Lacrosse goalies wear gloves to protect their hands from show impacts. Still, these gloves do not protect against injuries to goalies’ hands and fingers, which have become a common occurrence in the sport. Strang’s group came up with the idea through his own experiences as an athlete.
“I have struggled with the problem of breaking my fingers all throughout my career as a lacrosse player,” he explains. “I have always felt that the goalie position lacks adequate protection as the game has sped up, especially the speed of the shots we defend. Unfortunately, the safety of the position has not grown with the sport, and we felt like there was an opportunity there.”
The group faced several challenges throughout the semester, especially in terms of business operations. They lacked specific knowledge about the manufacturing and supply chain processes of sports equipment. The group worked through these challenges together by talking to people in the business, speaking to at least 10 people in the industry per week.
For Strang, the most gratifying aspect was creating a finished product that has the potential to be real.
“This will be an experience I will never forget. It really showed us the amount of work it would take to start your own company,” he says. “In my opinion, the way to succeed in this competition is to treat your company as if it were real.”
In addition to playing on the Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse team, Strang is also on the leadership team for TEAM IMPACT, an organization connecting children battling serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams to form lifelong bonds and life-changing outcomes. After graduation he hopes to go into sales in the IT industry.
Strang shares, “Something that I really didn’t expect is the friendships I formed with the rest of my team,” Strang shares. “Within our team, we genuinely enjoyed working with each other, and it made the entire process fun.”
Learn more about the Capstone experience and team ideas throughout the years.