When Martin Bispels considered his life after the COVID pandemic, becoming an entrepreneur was a natural next step. With Flippa as his co-pilot, he acquired an eCommerce business that combined his extensive business acumen and passion for disc golf with a desire to make a lifestyle change. This is his story.
When COVID hit I really kind of rethought, like many people did, what do I want this next chapter to look like?
And I said to my now business partner, Jim, why don’t we go find a company and acquire, there’s lots of great companies out there, why don’t we acquire one and I’ll run the day to day and we’ll take it to the next level. But it all started with being able to find the business available for sale on Flippa.
Hi, I’m Martin Bispels and I’m co-owner and CEO of Upper Park Disc Golf. I live in Southeastern Pennsylvania with my wife, and three kids, and two dogs, and golf carts, and motorcycles, and this great bar.
My career included many years with a large company in a senior executive position, leading sales for billions of dollars in revenue and then leading corporate development, mergers and acquisitions. And then I resigned to start my own consulting firm for startups, ’cause I really wanted to help these small companies grow, and I did that for about seven years.
I had heard about Flippa and really liked the model and the platform, and I went right to work and vetted a bunch of different companies on Flippa and ultimately found Upper Park Disc Golf, which I just loved from the beginning and of course, we did our diligence and talked to the seller, John, he’s a great guy, and he had really built a great company. It had great products, as you can see behind me here and he had built a great brand, but of course, just lacked the capital and the bandwidth to be able to grow it to the next level. So, that’s exactly what we’ve done in the last, less than a year. We’ve gone from a standing start to a fast growing and profitable business, and just having a hell of a lot of fun while we’re at it.
Disc Golf is one of those things that you either really passionate about and you know, or you’re like, I don’t get it, like, you throw a Frisbee? Like, what do you…
I discovered disc golf really in my twenties, a friend of mine said, you know, let’s go to this local park and I’m like what the hell is this? So anyway, I discovered it and I just loved it since my twenties. So now I actually, you know, we have some property here and I have some baskets on the property, my boys play with me all the time and I got my neighbour into it. So I just love disc golf. It’s also so fast growing, I mean, there’s more people playing disc golf every day. There’s 50 million rounds of disc golf played in 2020. It’s amazing, it’s growing like crazy. I’m a deadhead and I can’t help but be grateful for the fact that we could be part of this great sport. We’re not solving the world’s biggest problems but we’re fortunate to be able to do something that’s so fun and is part of this great disc golf community. I’m full-time focused on this business and growing the business. I get to work in this great space here in the bar, in a creative space, my commute’s short and work with really talented people all over the world to be able to grow the business.
And so I, of course, heard of Flippa and the way it’s structured, the tools they give you, all really valuable in being able to do the work that you need to do to really make an informed decision, and so that’s exactly what I did. And not only did we buy the business, but we actually had the seller, John, he’s a great guy, come on for the next chapter, stay on for the next chapter of the business. So, I’m thrilled to have him and he’s now focused on what he really loves, which is the product design. And then I have a team to handle all the other stuff and I’m so, so grateful to Flippa to be able to have the opportunity to find such a great company and now to have the success that we do, and now live this terrific lifestyle. But it all started with being able to find the business available for sale on Flippa.