Fordham alumnus launches company dreamed up in dorm room
When Dan Rector, FCRH ’16, started his psychology degree at Fordham, he, like many students, wanted to stay in shape.
Rector soon learned his activity of choice would be difficult to continue, as the Rose Hill gymnasium didn’t have equipment for his boxing routine.
He realized if he was having trouble finding a reliable punching bag around campus, others might be, too.
That’s when he came up for the idea of what would eventually become StealthBoxer. Just released this fall, StealthBoxer is a door-mounted punching bag that Rector says is a solution for those with limited space.
After he thought of the concept, it would still be four years before the product would be ready to launch. Rector spent that time on product development, testing, and market research, all while continuing his courses at Fordham.
In his senior year, when he took an entrepreneurship course held at the Fordham Foundry, as well as a leadership course, he discovered more opportunities to help him along the way.
The courses “reinforced a lot of things I already knew and shed light on” many more new things, Rector says. More than that, interacting with people who had their own businesses, including the leaders and members of the Foundry, gave him the sense that “real people are doing this, and here are real people [who] have done this,” he recalls.
Since graduating, while preparing for StealthBoxer’s launch, Rector has been working in research, which he says “helps me approach business problems in a very efficient and effective way.” He also likes that “it’s another way to use innovation to help people.”
Being innovative, Rector has learned, doesn’t always mean coming up with an idea that’s never been tried before.
“You don’t have to have the next iPhone,” Rector believes. “You don’t have to do it the best in the world; you just have to do it better than your competitors.”
That’s what Rector’s goal was when he set out to find a solution to his punching-bag problem, and he hopes his first product will reach it.
While he’s focusing on StealthBoxer for now, Rector is already thinking of ideas for his next projects. “There are always things in the pipeline,” he says.