Scottsdale entrepreneur hopes to take 'The Big Leap,' launch business into big leagues

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Have you ever wanted to quit your job and launch your own business? It's the dream of many, but it's not easy to achieve. Scottsdale-based GoDaddy wants to help somebody do it.

The competition is called The Big Leap and Kyle Mauch is a finalist -- one of five people from all over the country hoping to win $40,000 and the opportunity of a lifetime.

Describing himself as "first and foremost an athlete," Mauch left a prospective career in professional baseball, opting instead to found Athletes Brand, a company that helps pro athletes raise money for charities by selling limited edition athletic apparel.

"Athletes have a direct connection to our youth, and with Athletes Brand I know the difference we can make," Mauch, who calls himself a social entrepreneur, said. "Athletes Brand is creating a new opportunity for athletes to do charity work."

Every two weeks, Athletes Brand teams up with one athlete and for those 14 days, 10 percent of every sale goes to a charity the athlete chooses.

"Every shirt is limited edition, every shirt is hand marked for authenticity, every shirt you will know helped change a life," according to AthletesBrand.com.

From Olympians to baseball, football and soccer players to triathletes to professional drivers -- even musicians -- Athletes Brands is already building its roster. Mauch hopes he and his company will raise $3 million for charities within five years.

Mauch, who calls Scottsdale home, and four other The Big Leap hopefuls made their pitches to NASCAR driver and "GoDaddy Girl" Danica Patrick. But it wasn't any ordinary pitch meeting or even a super short "elevator pitch."  In what was certainly the ride of their lives, the competitors were in the passenger seat of the No. 10 GoDaddy car and had just three 120-mph laps to impress Patrick.

Mauch stopped by 3TV Monday to tell Scott Pasmore all about Athletes Brand, The Big Leap and his three laps in the hot seat.

For more information about Mauch and Athletes Brand or to vote for him in The Big Leap, check out godaddy.com/kyle. Voting is open until March 2. Patrick will announce the winner after the NASCAR race in March.