Practice Gigs: A Northeastern IDEA and Law School Community Partnership


Photo by Mariah Tauger

For professional and aspiring athletes everywhere, finding locations and time to practice can be difficult. Many sports, like tennis, require long hours of practice one-on-one with a professional or a friend. Athletes feel that they benefit from working with experienced mentors, these professionals are looking to teach inexperienced players for a price. The need for a service that bridges this gap was evident.

Toni Oloko, a senior at Boston Trinity Academy took up tennis six years ago and recently started playing at a national level. Over the years he transitioned from an inexperienced player, requiring more practice time, to a successful player, looking to teach up-and-coming athletes, but couldn’t find a platform to facilitate the process. That’s when Toni, who was 16 at the time, came up with the solution – Practice Gigs.

Practice Gigs provides an opportunity for inexperienced players to meet and practice with higher-level athletes. It offers a platform that connects players eager to learn new skills and increase their practice time. The exchange is simple and facilitated through the website, connecting and aligning both parties needs to provide seamless scheduling.

Practice Gigs partnered with the Northeastern Law School to hash out the logistics of incorporating and launching their business. Here, Toni worked with a law school intern to draft a privacy policy and Terms and Conditions agreement for his website.

While working with the Law school, Toni was introduced to IDEA Northeastern University’s Venture Accelerator as part of a joint IDEA/Law School partnership and Zac Scheffer, who was assigned as his coach. Zac worked to finalize Toni’s business plan and provide him with the tools he needed for the business launch. The support gained from IDEA pointed him in the right direction.

Through working with IDEA, Practice Gigs was fortunate enough to join 44 other ventures at NEXPO last November, where Toni and his business partner Nathaniel Friedman pitched their startup to investors, students and industry professionals.

“The process helped me to sharpen my pitch, and the exposure gave me confidence and positive feedback to keep pushing through with my plan.” said Toni about his experience at NEXPO. The exposition is an impressive milestone for Practice Gigs and proved to be an amazing experience.

Since NEXPO Toni has been working to improve the website and develop his marketing plan so that once the weather gets nice he can reach potential customers.

Check Practice Gigs out online, and don’t miss them this year at NEXPO!