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At 18, Rico Grant began working at Coca-Cola loading soda on delivery trucks. After a while, his co-workers who had been there for 20+ years convinced him that he should move on because he was destined for bigger and better things. So he enrolled at the University of Cincinnati. His first year was rather exhausting. Rico continued working 3rd shift at Coca-Cola, paying for school out of pocket. He would work 10pm-6am, go home, sleep until 10am, go to class, do homework, then back to work. At the end of his first year, Rico had a 4.0 GPA earning him scholarships that allowed him to quit coca-cola and focus 100% on school. His drive and determination to succeed is still with him today, as an entrepreneur.

Rico has always been interested in entrepreneurship, but it wasn’t until this past March that he took the leap. CrownMob was born after Rico saw how much his wife spent on her monthly hair products. He wondered if there was a way for her and others to find quality Black Hair Essentials at a lower price point, and there wasn’t, until now.

CrownMob connects consumers in the Black Hair Care Industry to barbers, stylists and product retailers through discovery, empowering consumers to book and buy directly from the platform.

When he delve deeper into his idea, he ran it by his friends and family, to really see if there was a need for this platform. And trust me, there is. Whenever Rico introduced his idea for CrownMob his friends all asked the same thing, “how soon can we get this product?” Because they all wanted it yesterday!

Now all Rico needed was a technical co-founder and CTO, to help build the platform. An AngelList post, one meeting, and 3 days later, he had one. Jordan Crone responded to Rico’s post almost immediately. When the two first met, they clicked really well. Jordan loved the idea and really understood it, making it an easy decision for him to jump on board.

Entrepreneurs are known to push the envelope to get things done. So it isn’t that surprising to hear what they do to get what they want and need.

When figuring out next steps for CrownMob, Rico found UpTech. In his words, he “stalked JB to set up a meeting and pitch his company for a shot at getting into the program.” Well, the stalking and 3am emails (that he drafted earlier in the day, set an alarm for 3am, and hit send so he looked like he was up late grinding) paid off. CrownMob was selected as one of the 9 startups in UpTech 6 in September.

Rico’s drive for creating and building his company is to help others. Not only is the problem he is solving a real-life issue, it is super personal to him. When I asked Rico what makes him get up in the morning, he was thinking of others. He said he hoped his company could aid in the advancement of minorities, empower entrepreneurs and provide more representation of tech in the minority world, as it is crucial to the industry. Even when asked “what do you see as success for your company?” He said “the greater success we have, the more people we can employee. hire and provide jobs for.”

In his limited free time, Rico loves hosting dinner parties and traveling with his wife, who he credits as his biggest motivator and supporter. He his a huge food guy and loves trying new restaurants. His latest staple over here in Covington is Rima’s Diner. You’ll catch him in there every morning and sometimes at lunchtime, but you will never catch the self-appointed sneaker head in the same shoes, trust me I’ve tried.

CrownMob is changing the landscape of the Black Hair Care Industry and we are excited to be a part of their journey. Want to follow along on their journey as well? Visit their website and follow their social channels. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

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