Shooting for the Stars

Hoop Stars

“I’m so grateful to the SBDC for providing resources for folks just trying to get started in business.” – Dan McKenna

Dan McKenna, who played basketball for Penn State in the 1990s, is the owner of a new business, called Hoop Stars. Hoop Stars is a basketball program designed to teach children the fundamentals of the game. Dan has worked with sports and youth organizations for over two decades and decided to become an entrepreneur in order to balance his personal and work life.

Through coaching and teaching basketball for the past 25 years, Dan saw a need in the community for a structured environment for young children from ages 3 to 11 to learn the game.

Dan found the SBDC through searching on the internet and signed up for the Penn State SBDC’s “First Step to Small Business Success” seminar. He was then able to use the information from the seminar and the time spent with Penn State SBDC business consultant John Peterson to begin the process of starting his business.

“I’m so grateful to the SBDC for providing resources for folks just trying to get started. I enrolled in the ‘The First Step to Small Business Success’ workshop hosted by John Peterson, and after this seminar, I had the information necessary to launch my business,” said Dan. “After the seminar, I had some additional questions and was able to ask John for clarification. Before I came to the SBDC, I had a vision of what I wanted my business to be; however, since I had no previous experience, I didn’t know how to get started. I am grateful to the SBDC for providing this invaluable resource and enabling me to start Hoop Stars.”
The Penn State SBDC helped Dan by providing him community contacts and marketing assistance. Dan started his business in the fall of 2018, and within two months, launched demos of his services to other groups in his targeted market within the Centre County area.

Dan won second place in the SpringBoard business incubator Startup Challenge and was awarded $2,000 for future marketing needs, as well as free use of the SpringBoard business incubator space.

Impact and Results

In January 2019, Dan hired three part-time employees and has developed connections with preschools and after-school programs. His business offers new and different programing for these organizations. Prior to Hoop Stars, there wasn’t an option for kids to learn basketball skills at an early age. Now “Coach Dan” and his staff use their skills to build confidence in youth, and to help improve and enhance motor skills and coordination of the children, all while having fun in a positive environment.