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Under Armour CEO Gives Advice to Silicon Valley Startups to Start Making Money

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(Credit: Paul Morigi/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images ) CNBC EVENTS -- iCONIC Event -- Pictured: Kevin Plank, founder and CEO, Under Armour, at the Iconic Conference in Washington, D.C on November 11, 2015.CNBC Events - Season 2015
March 15
6:20 AM 2016

Kevin Plank is the CEO and founder of Under Armour, and he has sucessfully built the company from scratch into $7 billion business. In SXSW event on Tuesday, he shared his success story by aiming on one simple target: making profit.

He founded the company in 1996 to sell his shirt made by microfiber which keep the wearers dry. After struggling to make the sales, Under Armour began to soar as many football players in NCAA had the experienced of wearing his product and keeping them dry. Georgia Tech, Arizona State University and North Carolina State are among the his first customers.

Plank shared his story in front of audience at the SXSW annual event in Austin Texas. He recalled how he tried to explain the attendant that he did not have $2 to pay the toll fee to pass through. Ad Week also quoted how he struggled, "How embarrassed I was. I didn't know where I was going to get my next tank of gas."

That was prior to land his first $7,000 check from Georgia Tech. Now many prominent athletes are under contract with Under Armour. NBA most valuable players Stephen Curry, the most decorated Olympic athlete Mike Phelps, the renowned NFL quarter back Tom Brady, tennis pro Andy Murray are among them.

During the SXSW event, Kevin Plank told how surprised he was when he watched how Silicon Valley startup companies felt comfortable losing money and they even consider it as the rite of passage. Business Insider reported Plank was shocked as he said, "And I'm going, what are you doing? Winning is cultural. Losing money is cultural. If you get used to losing money, it's really hard to stop. Go let the other guy lose money and fail off."

He also suggested startups to push themselves and not burning money while proving their business model works. "Go make the sale," he said.

"Get out of the hypothesis mode, and go find out if your product will sell. Is someone willing to take good, cold, hard cash out of their pocket and exchange it for what you have?"

Under Armour has now grown into a tech sale and make huge profit. Advertising Age reported its latest wearable products HealthBox includes a wristband, a heart monitor and a WiFi-enabled scale to track things like motion, sleep, heartrate and body fat percentage. This will help users to keep track of their workout progress.

In a SXSW annual event last Tuesday, Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank shared his success in building Under Armour into billion dollar company. It all started by one focus: making profit.

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