There’s nothing better than mixing business with pleasure. Anne Nicholson, a Business Fundamentals & Tactics graduate, decided to do just that when she left a career in law to launch Top Chef Fantasy League, a platform that allows friends to play against each other as they root for their favorite contestants.
What were you doing before coming to General Assembly?
Before GA I was an attorney for over 5 years.
How did you come up with the Top Chef Fantasy League?
I’m a die-hard Top Chef fan (Team Gail), and I needed a way to bring my obsession with the show to the next level. I saw my husband’s fanaticism over his various fantasy sports leagues, and it just made sense to bring the two together. The show’s multi-challenge format lends itself beautifully to a fantasy sports style contest. I participated in a Top Chef Fantasy League with a group of friends through an email chain, and it was fantastic, but I still wanted more out of the experience.
The following year, I became Commissioner of the League, started a League blog, and started hosting events around particular episodes. My friends and I had a ton of fun, and it made me want to build a system to include even more fans. To now have a platform that allows lots of people to form Leagues, invite more friends, and keep track of scores on a weekly basis – just like a real fantasy sports site – has been incredible.
Any advice for fellow graduates who want to start a niche business?
Think about what gets you really excited, whatever you love reading about or watching, that thing your friends know to turn to you for expert analysis. You are already super emotionally invested in this topic, so you might as well go with it! No matter how small or silly this concept or idea may be, take some baby steps towards getting it off the ground.
For example, buy the domain name, make a little sketch of what you think the website will look like, and keep talking to your friends about it to drum up interest and accountability to move forward. It’s amazing how these low commitment actions really do add up to attract the momentum, confidence, and support you’ll need to keep going.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Watching Top Chef – duh!
Have an idea for your own website?