Not long after he graduated from Northwest Classen High School, Rocky Chavez saw a lucrative business opportunity in Oklahoma City’s Bricktown entertainment district. Thousands of pedestrians often walked long distances from remote parking lots to Bricktown restaurants, clubs and nearby sporting events.
Rocky opened a pedal-cab and advertising business called Brickshaw Buggy. He was still a student at Oklahoma City Community College.
“I kept up with the resurgence of Bricktown and wanted a slice of the pie,” he said.
The Brickshaw Buggy pedal-cabs since have become as ubiquitous on NBA Thunder game nights as Kevin Durant jerseys, with pedal cabs ferrying many fans to and from Chesapeake Arena.
“The pedal cab concept was perfect for the entertainment district,” Rocky said. “At first, people looked at me strange when I pedaled up and down the streets in Downtown, but now I don’t think Bricktown would be the same without this green form of transportation.”
Brickshaw Buggy recently sold to a group out of Denver, and Chavez is on to other ventures. He’s now working on a social entrepreneurship venture.
Along the way on his entrepreneurial journey, Chavez twice entered the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup competition. His Oklahoma City University team claimed third place 2008 before entering with a team as a graduate student from the University of Oklahoma last year and winning the Interview portion of the competition in the Energy industry division.
He also was one of two recipients of the $5,000 Oklahoma Business Roundtable Paulsen Award scholarship last year.
Rocky recently talked about his experiences as an entrepreneur and in the Governor’s Cup. Below are excerpts from that conversation:
Q: How did you use the $5,000 Paulsen Award?
A: The Paulsen scholarship was great. Knowing the semester was almost fully covered provided a peace of mind. I was able to concentrate on my classes last fall without the burden of paying tuition and fees. I am currently in my last semester in the OU MBA program.
Q: What networking opportunities did the Paulsen Award bring you?
A: I am in a small group of privileged individuals to receive the scholarship. The boost I received from the Paulsen Award was great not only financially but in credibility. I received emails and phone calls from friends, mentors and other business leaders days after they learned I was a recipient.
Q: How would you assess the whole GovCup experience for you?
A: My first GovCup was great because I was at Oklahoma City University then. We were one of the first teams there led by Dr. Robert Greve to place in the GovCup. Our team inspired other OCU teams to compete and they have been successful since my time there. That first competition also led to our team placing second in a Singapore Management University competition. The second GovCup I competed while at OU was rewarding because we were so far behind the schedule about two months before the competition due lack of obtaining a technology. We pulled through and turned in a great business plan. We won first place in the energy category and made it to the semifinals. Both experiences were great in their own ways.
Q: What is on the horizon for you after graduation?
A: I love the challenge of entrepreneurship. Currently, I’m looking forward to graduation in May, taking my final OU MBA Entrepreneurship course in Europe this June, teaching a class in the Fall at OCCC, and launching the social entrepreneurship venture all while looking for the next big idea.