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Senior Nate Stricker: Student, Athlete and CEO 

Jessalyn Powell, C'24, and Donna Klinger

Nate Stricker with Ascent team

Nate Stricker, at far right, in an Ascent Sporting Innovations meeting in the Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE). Also pictured, clockwise, are Anthony Milazzo, C'24, Thunlwyn Garcia, C'23, PCE Director Garth Patterson, Ph.D., Sophia Culmone, C'23, and Mitchell Gallo, an MBA student and PCE graduate assistant.

As a business major, Nathan Stricker, C’24, has always had an interest in entrepreneurship, but that interest went into overdrive when he became involved in the Entrepreneurship Club, run through the Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE). Ascent Sporting Innovations CEO Thunlwyn Garcia, C’23, Stricker’s roommate and teammate on the NCAA Division I men’s soccer team through the spring of 2023, encouraged him in the ideation process. The most important advice Garcia offered was to stick with one promising idea and keep building on it rather than continuing to bounce different ideas around. The result is Eleven Digital, a digital marketing agency that maximizes bookings for the short-term vacation rental niche. 

nate-stricker-in-text.jpgIn founding Eleven Digital with his childhood friend, Anthony Futrick, a recent graduate of West Chester University, Stricker, a Reading, Pennsylvania native, also received guidance and advice from Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship Director Garth Patterson, Ph.D.; Associate Professors of Business Mike Barry, Ph.D., and Philip van Berten, Ph.D.; and other members of the student club.  

Just as Mount alumni have been instrumental in Garcia and Anthony Milazzo’s startup of Ascent Sporting Innovations, Stricker also received valuable assistance from an alumnus who helped take his company to the next level. At an alumni golf event sponsored by the men’s soccer team, Stricker met Jose Cornejo, C’97, a short-term rental investor, who encouraged him to focus his digital marketing company on the short-term rental niche and "showed us the ropes of that industry,” Stricker said. Cornejo soon became Stricker’s first short-term rental client and mentor. Currently, Eleven Digital’s client list includes the owners of the largest rental home in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.    

“Eleven Digital has been my go-to digital marketing agency as I scale my business. Nate and Anthony were able to quickly integrate their company into mine and take over all my marketing department,” Cornejo said. “I now rely 100% on them to run that side of my business and we continue to optimize monthly. They bring the right audience to my vacation properties at www.cornejorentals.com and I’m glad we can work together and bring them more clients”

One of the primary features of Eleven Digital that sets it apart from the competition is its customer relationship management system. This gives customers the ability to have direct bookings, avoiding hefty fees on digital platforms.

The company’s focus is digital marketing for platforms such as Facebook as well as the provision of social media management and paid advertising. Stricker is finding that digital marketing is much more targeted and effective than traditional billboards and flyers. “Our services are unique because we are tech savvy,” Stricker said.

Stricker is among the team of students who continue to work with Ascent Sporting Innovations through PCE. Ascent received a patent for its temperature-regulating insole in August 2023. Garcia and Milazzo, C’24, were inspired to develop the product to alleviate the pain they experienced on the soccer pitch in adverse weather conditions. Their technology also may directly benefit foot and mobility ailments such as plantar fasciitis and diabetic nerve pain.

Jessalyn Powell, C'24, and Donna Klinger