She is about to launch a new website and app to help high school cheerleaders connect with college cheerleading coaches.
The senior at Cornerstone Preparatory Academy in Acworth made the switch from gymnastics to cheerleading last year and hasn’t looked back since.
Madelyn and many of her teammates on her club cheerleading team, the Sting Ray Allstars, hope to cheer in college and were frustrated with how difficult it was for high school students to meet and speak with college coaches.
“Colleges don’t recruit for their schools. You have to visit the schools or to camps to meet the coaches,” she said.
The summer camps can cost thousands of dollars, and trips to various college campuses are not always feasible for busy high schoolers, Madelyn said.
With the help of her aunt, uncle and parents, Madelyn came up with an idea that would connect high school cheerleaders with the right people at campuses across the country to help them get on the collegiate cheering teams.
The new website, www.traellsports.com, is expected to launch in December and will connect coaches with cheerers nationwide, Madelyn said.
Individual cheerleaders will be able to create a profile, much like on Facebook, which will include information on each cheerer’s experience, goals and interests. Coaches will be able to browse through profiles, and cheerleaders will be able to send their profiles to coaches, Madelyn said.
An app for the website is also expected to launch in April, expanding the arena for students to connect with coaches.
A platform like this does not exist in the cheerleading world, Madelyn said, and she expects it will take off quickly.
About $100,000 has been invested in the company so far, with contributions from her father’s company, Accelerated Claims, which deals with billing hospitals.
In September, Madelyn was surprised at cheerleading practice by representatives from the Nfinity Young Entrepreneur Competition, who selected her as the competition’s winner and presented her with a check for $5,000 to use toward her business.
Madelyn dreams of one day being a businesswoman, and of eventually graduating from the University of Georgia with a business degree as a cheerleader, she said. She has already applied to the school and reached out to the cheer coaches at UGA.
While she waits to hear from the school, Madelyn keeps busy with her website and with cheer practice, which averages about 12 hours each week, she said.
Madelyn has learned that, just like cheering, starting a business takes lots of hard work and support.
“It’s a lot of hard work and determination to start a company. It’s not going to be easy from the start,” she said.