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Success Stories


Graduates of our internationally ranked INKUBATOR program go on to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into viable businesses. Read about one of the successes below.


Q&A with Sam Hallforth, Founder of WaiverHawk


Tell us about your business/concept.

Waiverhawk identifies player potential through the perfect combination of econometrics, predictive statistical methods, and over 20 years of Fantasy football expertise. An industry that was once driven solely off "expert opinion" is now moving toward a one sided statistical approach which is missing the attention to detail of what is happening on the field of play. Waiverhawk provides the necessary balance a die-hard sports fan and a stats buff can both appreciate. This balance is the key piece for building a repeatable method in achieving the ultimate goal of producing Fantasy Championships. Waiverhawk will offer the advantage of having your own NFL personnel assistant at your side.

What are the roots for the idea and why does the world need it?

I have been working on Waiverhawk since I was 12 years old.  My father used to take me to the race track and would let me place bets under the table.  At a very early age, I learned that if you pay close enough attention to the right information, certain situations may not be as much of a “roll of the dice” as they appear on the surface.  I believe everyone has something their mind utilizes that helps make sense of the world. For some individual it’s music, mine has always been fantasy football.  I would struggle for hours on my economic theory homework.  It wasn’t until I began plugging fantasy football statistics into my assignments was I able to perform in the classroom and ultimately graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

One thing that I believe everyone has experienced at some point in their life is to be overlooked for an opportunity or to be labeled as “unqualified” for something they are capable of doing. Waiverhawk stands up for the individuals who are labeled as too old, too young, lacking in experience, or who may have an unorthodox background and offers statistical evidence to help identify the unlimited potential in each of these individuals who are often overlooked. Waiverhawk will first change the Fantasy Football industry which was previously dominated by expert opinion/bias and will eventually move into the workplace and educational segments as well.  

What attracted you to the INKUBATOR? Why is it a good fit for you/your idea?

What attracted me to the Inkubator was the challenge of putting my idea to the test; not only through the application process but also through an intensive program that ranked top 5 in the nation. Zac Strobl did a quick guest lecture at one of my economics courses and encouraged all students to apply. I never thought of myself as someone with a “business mind” or someone who could run my own business.  Most responses when explaining my idea with close ones was often negative or reluctant at best. I waited until 15 minutes before the application deadline before taking a leap on something that I was passionate about.  The Inkubator attracted me with its previous successful graduates and also was a place that understood the value in my idea and encouraged the pursuit of my idea.

How did the INKUBATOR help you bring your idea to life?

The NKU Inkubator not only fueled the enthusiasm and passion that was already present, but also harnessed these attributes and directed them towards making clear objectives and valuable connections to help achieve my goals.  I took on the life style of a full-time entrepreneur for the duration that I was in the program.  I quit my job and dedicated all my time and resources into making this dream into a reality. Without the guidance and support from the NKU Inkubator, I would not have been able to take a full chance on something that a majority told me was impossible.

What is the most important lesson you learned on your journey?

The most important lesson I learned on this journey from the NKU Inkubator was that in any challenges you face, there is always a solution if you examine the situation, make clear objectives, reach out to others, do the work that is necessary followed by work that is not, and to have faith in yourself and your abilities to carry through. There isn’t a single experience while attending college and playing college sports that could have equipped me more for whatever comes next in my future

Tell us how the INKUBATOR changed your life.

The NKU Inkubator changed my life in teaching me to not only evaluate if situations are beneficial, but also if a situation is a good fit for myself.  In the past, I would find myself in situations that I did not want to be in due to my inability to stand up for what I believed was best for me or the inability to carry through without gaining instant results. Before starting the program with the NKU Inkubator, I believed I was attending a program to help shape my business and business idea.  I had no idea that I would walk away with an experience that would better shape who I was as an individual.