One of the key factors in successful entrepreneurship is the ability to identify, and seize, opportunities. An opportunity can come in many shapes and sizes. However, you have to be able to recognize them. Some opportunities present themselves in the absence of a product in your community (think craft breweries prior to 2008), a challenge unique to your geography (before UberEats, GrubHub and DoorDash were household names, companies like Tarheel Takeout, now TakeOut Central, were providing the service for UNC students and nearby-communities), or even a nearby landmark, like the Cuyahoga River in Northeast Ohio.

The Entrepreneurship of TJ Mack

Spending much of his adult life in Texas, TJ Mack would often float rivers like the Frio, Comal, and Guadalupe. Therefore, upon moving to Akron, his partner, Savannah Snyder, an avid nature lover and outdoor enthusiast herself, introduced Mack to the Cuyahoga River. They enjoyed floating and exploring the river, but realized that they were often alone. Subsequently, this presented them with an incredible entrepreneurship opportunity.

“When I moved here, I realized no one was really using the river,” Mack said. “This beautiful natural resource was not getting utilized the way it needed to.”

Mack and Snyder knew they could change the way people in the area saw the Cuyahoga River and get them to appreciate the beauty around them. In 2019, they jumped at the chance to meet that need and founded Float the River (FTR), a river outfitter that provides a full-service tubing experience on the Cuyahoga River. Despite only being open between Memorial Day and Labor Day, business boomed in the first year, with 600 riders in FTR’s first two days of operation. Clearly, the business is filling a need in the community.

To learn more about Float the River, visit

Read more about Float the River’s inaugural season here:

See what TJ has to say about EntrepreNEW here: