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Meet Rob Roseman of Kickstart Reading in Roswell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rob Roseman.

Rob, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I graduated from University of Florida in 1999 and moved to Chicago to try and become a trader. I got a job as a clerk at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (you may remember it from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), and had the opportunity to start trading within a year. This was during the height of the dot com bubble, so it was extremely volatile…which is great for traders (if you can hold on for the ride).

After an exciting 7 year run in trading, the edges got thinner, and I was ready for a change. I started playing more poker with friends, studying the game and cutting my teeth at the local casinos. I took a trip to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker in 2006, and made a deep run playing for 7 straight days and finishing 23rd out of 8,773 players. At 30 years old, I thought “when else would I have an opportunity like this?”, so I packed up and moved to Vegas to take a shot at playing poker for a living.

I quickly met my wife-to-be, Angie and lived in Vegas for 10 years, playing poker full time and raising 3 kids together.

Angie received a great promotion opportunity in Atlanta, and we were ready for our next adventure. We landed in Roswell, Georgia at the end of 2017, and absolutely love it here.

With 3 kids under 6 at home, I stumbled upon my next business idea, while visiting my sister, Lauren, in Florida. Her 4-year-old was already reading, and I was amazed watching him learn so quickly.

I wanted to help teach my son to read, but I had no idea where to start. Lauren, a Kindergarten teacher, made us a 2-minute video (I said “keep it simple” or we’ll never do it), and my son’s eyes lit up. He was excited about learning how to read. I felt really empowered as a dad. It reminded me of the feeling I got teaching my son to ride a bike, letting go….and watching him take off!

We thought we could share this simple, fun “learn to read” experience with our friends. After an amazing response and hunger for more, we created Kickstart Reading: 2-minute videos that teach your child how to read.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a business, especially with 3 young kids at home, is both exciting and challenging. It makes trading and playing poker seem easy!

The “idea phase” is the fun and seductive part. Once you get it off the ground, you learn that execution is the key. You have to take action every day, move it forward, connect with people, but also remain patient.

We both have young kids at home, so family is our #1 priority. I work on the business at night after the kids to bed. Finding a healthy balance is something we all talk about, but like a lot of things its simple…not easy.

I’m obsessed with learning — reading books, blogs, listening to podcasts, talking to friends. The one thing I’ve learned, is that by next week…I’ll know a lot more than I do today.

Please tell us about Kickstart Reading.
We came up with the idea for Kickstart Reading like how a lot of businesses get started — solve your own problem.

Cameron was heading into kindergarten, and while we read to him every night, I didn’t know the first thing about teaching him how to read.

When your child is ready to start reading — we say at 3-6 but every child is different — it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with where to start and how to help.

We made the videos short so they’re easy for kids to follow and learn from, and simple enough for parents to be a part of their child’s reading. That’s something that was important to me — instead of handing your child a device and checking out (which we all do more than we like), let’s create something that parents can be a part of and feel good about.

Kickstart Reading videos are like having your child sit 1-on-1 with a personal tutor.

We’re different from a lot of educational apps out there. We are not a video game. We’re not flashy and addictive. We’re screen time you can feel good about.

The videos are only 2 minutes each, so you and your child can experience that “small win” that builds confidence and momentum.

Kickstart reading videos are designed to do one thing: help teach your child how to read, in a way you both can feel good about.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
What could be better than being 11 years old, without a care in the world, and playing sports all day with your friends at summer camp?!


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