Prior to enrolling at Chicago Booth, Brian Payne enjoyed a career as a professional golfer for seven years. Brian retired from the links in 2007 and transitioned into the wealth management industry, believing he had left golf behind for good. But after a chance encounter during his first week of school, Brian’s career changed radically.
During a speed networking event at orientation, Brian met fellow Booth student Alex Pedenko. Alex explained how he was utilizing aerial drone componentry to develop a free app for a mobile device that would track and analyze a user’s golf swing. The two began to collaborate on the idea, becoming fast friends as they watched the concept morph from an academic exercise into a full-time business partnership.
The company, which came to be known as Swingbyte, became fully developed and fleshed out over the course of their time at Chicago Booth. The two men eventually brought on a third student to join the company, Nathan Wojtkiewicz, and took their business plan through the New Venture Challenge, Chicago Booth’s renowned entrepreneurial competition. Due to rigorous scrutiny their plan received, they were able to successfully bring their product to the market and turn it into a viable, moneymaking business.
Looking back, Brian says, “Obviously I wouldn’t be involved in Swingbyte without coming to Chicago Booth, and the way it happened, when it happened—looking back even now—I struggle to believe it.”
Northwestern University – Communications
Professional Golfer, Bernstein Global Wealth Management
Swingbyte, Inc. – Cofounder
Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Strategy