Mike Steele’s life has revolved around soccer since childhood. While playing and coaching, he still made time to earn his Masters of Social Work and serve as a middle school counselor. Witnessing the importance of sports in child development helped him realize his business goals.
In 1998, Steele created Elite Soccer for both team training and soccer camps. Soon his business was training more than 40 teams annually. Elite Soccer has grown to include a charitable arm and the Elite S.C. soccer club.
Elite Soccer grew to meet the demands of parents and players, but Steele wanted to be more involved in his neighborhood, too. He established a nonprofit, Elite Soccer Community Organization (ESCO) in 2010 to sponsor community events.
Elite teams have played in national and regional competitions and 40 coaches from around the country train over 1000 students in its year-round operations.
Between 2008 and 2014, SCORE helped Elite Soccer grow from two partners working part time to 30 full-time employees.
During this period, Steele bought out his business partner with the help of his mentors, Larry Lakin and Earl Shraiberg. They helped Steele determine business valuation and negotiate for the buyout transaction. Steele also sought his mentors' advice in various aspects of operations and growth including accounting, HR and other management tasks.