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Start-up Combines Moss' Passions

Andy Moss has a passion for children and sports, and a strong technological background from a long career with Microsoft. He’s combining those experiences to start Education Sports Mentoring, LLC., a networking site to help young athletes face challenges with peer mentoring.

“The idea is to use the Internet to reach scale with peer mentoring,’’ says Andy, who serves on the Westport Parks and Recreation and Library boards. “A lot of people associate peer pressure with negativity, but peer pressure can be positive, too.”

Moss’ idea works like this. Children in grades 7 through college fill out profile information such as sports, subjects and interests. The students will join a community of like-minded children and offer ideas and suggestions. Moss will develop a list of incentives to earn points for positive contributions to the community to reward those who have valuable input. The points will earn prizes. “It’s going to be a national community where you’ll be able to communicate with other kids that you have something in common with,’’ Moss says.

Moss brings experience in a variety of areas. At Microsoft, he worked on technological enhancements similar to his new venture. “The mechanics are the same, but the risks are greater,’’ he says. He has coached multiple sports and as the parent of three teenagers, he gets their advice. “They provide built-in feedback,’’ Moss says.

Moss expects a soft launch this summer and to become fully operational in September. He will generate revenue through subscriptions, advertising and corporate sponsorships. He already has a promotional agreement with the New York Jets to support to his plan. He has devoted a lot of time recently to building the site. “We’re going to start in Westport and go from there,’’ Moss says. “We’re going to go with a grass roots approach and then viral.”

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