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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Pat Hughes of Hyde

January 21, 2015 • Arch Grant News

This month we interviewed Pat Hughes, CEO and Co-Founder of Hyde Sportswear, about life as an entrepreneur and his experience so far in St. Louis. Hyde is a 2014 Arch Grants Recipient. Hyde is a sporting equipment manufacturer and the developer of the Wingman.

What is the Wingman?

The Wingman is an inflation vest and safety device for surfers, paddlers, and swimmers that allows users to rescue themselves in the case of emergency without inhibiting the users’ performance or range of motion.

Why is your startup unique?

We are creating a whole new product category in outdoorsy stores.

What do you enjoy about being an entrepreneur?

 As an entrepreneur I don’t have to answer to anyone except myself. Everyday coming to the office there are new problems and opportunities, and I don’t have to gain approval from anyone before acting on the issue and solving it.

What do you enjoy about working in St. Louis?

There is a vibrant entrepreneurial community in St. Louis and Arch Grants has connected us with industry leaders in this city to use as mentors and follow their lead.

Describe your experience working at T-REX.

It’s great so far and it’s nice having a space of our own. We are also getting to know the other Arch Grants Recipients, even using some of the software products that the other companies offer. It’s fun to use the other products being made in this building to better our business.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Start. A lot of people get hung up on analyzing every aspect of their idea, but you can’t predict every problem until you get started.

Describe your experience with Arch Grants.

It’s been awesome so far. We went through the entire process.  It was fun to find out we made it to the final round and enjoyed the pitch process. We tried to have fun with it and got ready to relocate to St. Louis, and a lot of people have helped us out.

What advice would you give to an entrepreneur applying for Arch Grants?

Be bold. Don’t try to be too business-like.  Let your personality come out because they aren’t only investing in businesses, they are investing in people. People like to connect with people. Let them get to know you throughout the process.