Business guru Kevin Bloomfield honored by Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia
“I thought I was going to play college basketball,” jokes Kevin Bloomfield, sitting on a stool at the RAMP Building in downtown Roanoke, his “sometimes” office.
Bloomfield had high expectations and while the basketball dream didn’t pan out, he exceeded that initial dream.
He said he didn’t have a plan for anything beyond basketball, noting that in hindsight, he had no idea how big college basketball players really are.
His path to fortune clicked one day in college, when he heard about the then-new internet browser called Netscape, going public.
“A company that has zero revenue is in this new thing called the Internet and the public market is valued at $1 billion after one day on the market,” Bloomfield said.
He tried to launch several technology companies and failed – including a pitch he once made to Delta Airlines.
He and his partner at the time had been working on the software they thought could help airlines better manage their passengers and other aspects of the business and they were sure it would work.
“We’re in this meeting. We’ve got brand new suits on and shiny shoes and we are eager to talk about how successful we were going to be and they were going to be with our technology,” Bloomfield said.
Then, Delta found out he had no company to back his idea.
“We were honest. We told them we both had other full-time jobs,” he said. “Within 15 minutes, let’s call it, the meeting wound down, finished much more abruptly than we anticipated.”
On the way home his partner quit, saying he had been through enough; however, Bloomfield persisted.
He and his wife had been high school sweethearts in Wytheville.
Kevin put himself through college, graduating from Radford University.
Though admittedly naïve, he was determined to be the next great tech entrepreneur. But at his father’s suggestion, he settled for an opportunity to help YMCAs develop operations software.
“I knew instinctively that no one was going to make me $1 billion market value around YMCAs,” Bloomfield said.
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