Q&A: Endeavor Athletic Co-Founder Colby Cohen

The Villanova native and former Boston Bruins player recently opened an outpost of his athletic apparel company in Ardmore.

Villanova native Colby Cohen knows a thing or two about competitive sports. He won a state ice hockey championship at Radnor High School, then went on to score the winning goal for Boston University, clinching the NCAA title in 2009. He was also a member of the Stanley Cup-winning Boston Bruins in 2011. So when his gear wasn’t living up to expectations, he partnered with other athletes and entrepreneurs to create a new brand. In the past year, Endeavor Athletic has launched five stores, including one in Ardmore’s Suburban Square.

MLT: Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?

CC: Growing up, sports were my first love and passion. But I never thought I’d play hockey, then coach hockey, then scout hockey. I always felt like I still had more that I would do.

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MLT: What inspired Endeavor?

CC: When you’re playing professional and Division I sports, you get a lot of free clothes, but a lot of them never really fit right or do what they say [they do]. I constantly had to change my shirts in between periods. I felt like there was an opportunity to make something better.

MLT: How did you go about making it a reality?

CC: The way that I look at it is really similar to sports—you’re only as good as your weakest link, and we’ve been able to put together a really great team of really hard working people. Terry [Tracy] is the CEO of the company. I got Endeavor launched and up and running, but he’s the brains behind the scenes. It’s about building a great team and having a really good culture.

MLT: What is it that makes Endeavor different?

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CC: We use a lot of nylon in our clothing, which not a lot of active-wear companies do because it costs more money. Nylon holds up better; it feels better; it performs better. It doesn’t hold onto odor quite like polyester does. When we integrate technology into our clothing—whether it’s antimicrobial or different forms of moisture transportation systems—we have it woven into our fabric at a DNA base.

MLT: Why was it so important to build your brand close to home?

CC: It’s a level of comfort I have with the Main Line. What Under Armor is in Baltimore is what we want to be in Philadelphia. The Main Line is a really nice area—it would be hard to find a nicer suburb you could want to grow up in.

MLT: What about the future?

CC: We’ve got five locations now. We’re hoping to open another five in the next 12 months and be closer to 20 stores in the next 24 to 36 months. We’re growing, and we’re definitely planning to venture outside of Philadelphia.

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