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Louben Repke
Serial Entrepreneur Takes Aim with DodgeBow

DodgeBow Annapolis, Louben Repke

Title / Role: Owner
Location: Millersville, Maryland
Formed in: 2022
aa.dodgebow.com
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My successes.

I run this adrenaline-packed venture called DodgeBow Annapolis. And before you ask, let me tell you – DodgeBow is an absolute blast! With Gene's guidance and encouragement, I had a "Grand Opening" in June 2023. As most people have never heard of DodgeBow, the event was all the more important. We invited people to register, take target practice, watch videos and then enjoy some free game time. Our grand opening was a huge hit with over 110 people in attendance. Now we’re firing on all cylinders.

What do you do?

I run this adrenaline-packed venture called DodgeBow Annapolis. And before you ask, let me tell you – DodgeBow is an absolute blast! Imagine the thrill of archery and the heart-pounding intensity of paintball all rolled into one, but with a twist – we use these SOFT-TIPPED arrows so it's all the excitement without any of the pain. So, picture this: you're out there on the battlefield, arrows in hand, aiming at your friends and having the time of your life. And the best part? It's not just random shooting – we've got a bunch of seriously fun game modes. Ever played Capture the Flag with arrows flying? Or how about team elimination, where strategy is key? We've even got scenarios like fighting off virtual zombies, protecting a royal "king" or "queen," and the crowd favorite – the role of a sneaky medic. But here's the real deal-sealer: DodgeBow is not just for one age group. It's a total blast for everyone from 8-year-olds to folks in their 70s. That means you can bring your family along for some quality bonding, round up your colleagues for team-building that's actually a ton of fun, or celebrate a birthday in the most epic way possible. Trust me, when you step onto that DodgeBow field, you're stepping into a world of pure excitement. It's like nothing you've ever experienced before – the rush, the laughter, the thrill of aiming and hitting your target. So, next time you're up for some real adventure, you know exactly where to find it – DodgeBow Annapolis!

What inspired you to start your business?

In February 2022, I sought out a unique experience for my brother's upcoming birthday. A friend recommended DodgeBow, so I gathered a group of 18 friends to give it a shot, not entirely sure what to expect but I assumed it would be more enjoyable than laser tag. We had already given axe throwing a try, which turned out to be just okay. So, we decided to give DodgeBow a go, and the result? We ALL had an absolute blast! For weeks afterward, my friends and I couldn't stop talking about how incredibly fun it had been – truly exhilarating! I ended up playing again, then a third time, and eventually a fourth. The addiction was real, and my friends were equally smitten.

I did briefly contemplate the idea of launching my very own DodgeBow business, but the timing simply wasn't right. Thus, I set that notion aside and concentrated on running my fitness business and fulfilling my role as a nurse.

Come August 2022, Opportunity Builders Inc. (OBI) reached out to me via email, indicating that they had vacant space and inquiring if I might know any business proprietors who would be interested in renting it. Upon inspecting the space, I shared my thoughts with them regarding potential users for the area and the activities they could undertake. As I drove home that evening, it struck me – the space would be absolutely ideal for DodgeBow! Its proximity to both my residence and my other business made it a perfect fit. It met most of the criteria for launching a new business. Without hesitation, I called OBI and informed them of my decision to seize the space and embark on my own business venture – DODGEBOW ANNAPOLIS!

Although I had originally set my sights on a January 2023 opening, fate seemed to conspire in my favor. With the holiday season bringing everyone back home for Christmas, I made the impromptu choice to open my doors ahead of schedule, on December 22nd, 2022.

What's special about your business?

There are so many things that are special about DodgeBow Annapolis, for starters it’s such a novelty thing and fans are excited to try it. In addition, it’s so much fun, and people of various ages can do it. It bonds people together and is such a blast. We have only been in business for 7 months and we already have 140 Stellar Reviews on Google. I am big on the customer experience, so I'm constantly looking for ways to improve upon the user’s experience. We created more friendly bows which now allow even a 6-year-old to use and play the game. Customers are coming back and are having a blast! We are so confident in this business that we offer a 200% refund for any groups who don’t have a great time. We’ve had thousands of customers and never had to give a refund😊

What influenced you to seek help from SCORE?

I used SCORE for Repke Fitness, a brick-and-mortar personal training facility in Millersville, MD, which I launched in 2014. It was so important to have a mentor with real-world experiences and provide me with guidance. I reached out in February 2023 to SCORE again for help with DodgeBow and was assigned Gene DeJackome. I was running two businesses and feeling overwhelmed with everything I had to do.

How SCORE helped.

My SCORE mentor Gene provided me tools and resources to make an informed decision on whether to take partners/investors at this early stage. As a solopreneur, he has provided me with a solid sounding board.

What's great about my mentor?

My mentor Gene is easy to talk to. He sends me notes after our meetings which help to organize me. He's a great listener and provides excellent feedback. While we mostly work via Zoom, he did come out to see DodgeBow which I truly appreciated.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?

Do your homework. Determine if there is a business model, if there is a path to profitability. While it's important to have a passion for what you do, make sure there's a need for that business and an audience. If a similar business already exists, check them out, replicate their successes, and don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE?

I highly recommend getting a SCORE mentor. It's good to have someone to talk to who has been through it all before. I have referred many people to SCORE, including family and fellow business peers.

Additional media
DodgeBow Annapolis
DodgeBow Annapolis
My mentors
Gene DeJackome

I have a passion for identifying new opportunities and helping grow sales revenue. From a...

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