Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A degree — and more

Carolina football players has used his experiences on the field and his lessons in the classroom at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School to start a new company.

Former Tar Heel safety Jeff Battle won’t be going to the NFL as he had once dreamed, but his future still includes football. Battle, who graduates Sunday as a member of Carolina’s Class of 2016, used his experiences on the field and his lessons in the classroom at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School to start a new company.

Battle Soles makes heat-resistant inserts for athletes to put inside their cleats to help avoid the blisters that can come from playing on artificial turf. Battle, the company’s founder, got the idea after he experienced heat-related blisters during a scrimmage on artificial turf — which can reach temperatures of nearly 150 degrees.

“I would have never thought I would come up with an idea to actually start a company,” said Battle, who grew up in Caldwell County, NC. “I always wanted to go to the NFL, but when that didn’t work out, I knew I had to make another way. The great thing about UNC is there are so many resources and people to actually help you.”