Local Entrepreneur Creates Social and Business Opportunities for Kids
Seth Mason, a twenty-two-year-old entrepreneur from Johnstown, PA is creating much-welcomed opportunities for local kids. He is using his companies Seth’s Socks and Entrepreneur U, and his involvement with the Johnstown Steel American Esports gaming team, to make a big impact in their lives.
Seth grew up in a family business. He started learning about entrepreneurship when he was 10 years old by helping his parents with their screen printing and embroidery company. “They were very open about financials and how things work,” says Seth. “I got to understand entrepreneurship and the small business side of it.”
After learning the fundamentals of business, Seth started his own sock company in his parents’ garage when he was only 15 years old. Today, he hires local high school students to help out with printing during busy times. “I want kids to have the same opportunities I did,” says Seth. Seth’s Socks are a best seller on Amazon, Walmart, and Etsy.
After high school, Seth attended Penn State Altoona, where he would begin his next business venture. He started his own esports company out of his college apartment, and what began as a fun hobby turned into a growing business.
He hosted a Madden tournament in his apartment in February 2018. 25 people showed up from cities like Pittsburgh, Johnstown, and Harrisburg. Seth then hosted a Fortnite tournament the following month, and 162 people showed up from across the East Coast.
Seth was contacted by American Esports that July, and he has been working with them ever since. He is currently the head of the Johnstown Steel American Esports gaming team, runs a gaming center in the Johnstown Galleria Mall, and travels across the country for different events and conventions.
Esports are growing in popularity everyday, and Seth is utilizing his gaming platform to create opportunities in the local area. American Esports will be launching a school program this coming fall that will showcase just how beneficial esports can be.
“Esports can include the entire student body into one sport,” says Seth. “It doesn’t matter who you are, or how athletically-gifted you are. It levels the playing field, which cannot be said for any other sport out there.”
The esports school program will provide opportunities for kids with a wide range of interests. Art students, broadcasting students, kids interested in tech or videography, kids who love to learn about software and coding, and students with entrepreneurship qualities will all benefit from the school program.
“Esports targets students that aren’t as socially active in their schools or communities,” Seth says. “We want to get kids’ minds going and feeling like they’re part of a team. There’s a place for everyone on these teams. We want everyone to have the opportunity to be on a team and know what that feels like, to make new friends, memories, and experiences.”
“Most esports games are teams of at least three,” says Seth. “You each have different roles and responsibilities. There’s team building and social bonding. These kids are going to be excited to come to school and see their friends on their esports team, practice their game and their craft, and talk about different strategies and techniques, just as you would with a physical sports team.”
Seth’s most recent endeavor includes founding a company called Entrepreneur U that teaches young kids entrepreneurship. Entrepreneur U is currently an after-school program, but it’s in the process of becoming part of school curriculum.
The goal of Entrepreneur U is to provide the opportunity for kids to be involved with something that truly interests them. “There are so many students who are smart and eager to learn, but who don’t have a curriculum catered toward what they’re interested in,” says Seth, “You don’t have to move to a big city to make it. You can utilize the internet and technology to make it from anywhere. The possibilities are endless.”
“We had one student who was doing very poorly in school,” Seth continues. “He wouldn’t go to class and was on track to being unable to graduate. He joined our after-school program in January and started going to school every single day. We gave him the opportunity to be engaged in something that interests him. He’s creating his own business with customizable shoe covers. That’s the benefit of being an entrepreneur. You can create your own business and opportunities.”
Entrepreneur U is in its pilot stage with the goal of being fully launched in the spring. 10 local schools are currently interested in adopting the entrepreneur workshop into the curriculum.
Seth encourages others to not take anything for granted. “The current situation with COVID-19 reflects how things can change instantly,” he says. “Don’t be content with what you’re doing. Always try to improve and look for opportunities to be involved in multiple things.”
Check out Seth’s projects below!
Follow Seth's Socks on Facebook and Instagram @sethssocks
Follow the gaming community on Facebook and Instagram @johnstownsteel