James J. Hill Center Statement Regarding Current Closure

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This is Not Your Grandfather’s Golf Shirt

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter Matt Stang. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on April 8th, 2017.

A 2016 article in Forbes entitled “The State of the Golf Industry in 2016” notes that golf is gaining popularity among the younger generation, with 6.3 million millennials playing golf annually.

Matt Stang noticed that these young golfers are not interested in buying expensive golf apparel that is often intended for an older market. He created Swannies to capture this younger market, selling affordable golf apparel that appeals to a younger market.


Name: Matt Stang
Age: 25
City you live in: Minneapolis
City of birth: White Bear Lake
High school attended: White Bear Lake High School
College attended: University of Minnesota


Name of company: Swannies
Website: www.swannies.co
Business Start Date: June 2015
Number of Employees: 8
Number of Customers: 500


Q. What led to this point?

A. After attending the University of Minnesota, I spent two years in management consulting in Boston. I felt a strong desire to do something I felt more passionately about. After brainstorming the idea for Swannies on the side and garnering initial traction, I launched the company in 2015 with two college friends.

Q. What is your business?

A. Swannies is a lifestyle apparel brand for young and casual golfers. We’re creating modern golf essentials to replace the stuffy, elitist perceptions of the game’s past. Our goal is to change the image of golf by building not just an apparel company but a lifestyle brand.

Our products appeal to young and casual golfers. The Swannies brand and team — being young, casual golfers ourselves — appeals to this group from three key angles:

Price: our products are on average 40% cheaper than most of our major competitors’.

Style and Selection: modern lifestyle designs and clothing to be worn both on and off the course.

Branding: targeting younger golfers whom we believe are currently being unrepresented.

Q. Where do you go for help when you need it?

A. I surround myself with people that are smarter than me and have different skill sets. That way assumptions are being challenged and new ideas constantly arise…READ FULL ARTICLE

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.


Patrons with accessibility needs please access our ground floor elevator entrance via Kellogg Ave at the back of the building. Please ring the doorbell on the right hand side of door and a Hill staff member will assist you. If you have questions or concerns please call 651.265.5500. We look forward to having you visit.