Life After the Game: Paul Ranheim Entrepreneur
Paul Ranheim is in a new chapter of his life. The 15 year NHL veteran is now an entrepreneur with a minority interest in a software company called PG Key that produces a parental device to monitor kids' use of the internet. Ranheim played well beyond the average NHL life of less than 5 years, playing with Calgary, Hartford, Carolina, Philadelphia and Phoenix. Sometimes knowing when to retire can be just as hard as knowing what to do next, Ranheim comments.
"Later in your career you tend to feel more aches and pains," Ranheim states. "More time is spent in the training room and maybe more half-hearted training happens in the off season. Some guys just know when it's time."
That's a tough decision for a player in many aspects. Retirement issues can include finances, missing competition, love of the game, teammates and change of routines. "A lot of guys have played 10-15 years even before they make the pros. You miss your teammates and the routine of the game. We follow like lemmings," Ranheim jokes. "After your career, you have to create your own routine."
It's for those reasons that approximately 30% of the players remain involved in hockey in some capacity. For Ranheim, who obtained his economics degree from Wisconsin, he knew he wanted to get into homebuilding. "Ironically, our first buyer was a Toronto couple who were snowbirds, spending their winters in Phoenix. They were basketball rather than hockey fans," he recalls.
Unfortunately, with a squeamish real estate market, Ranheim had to switch gears. He was introduced to an opportunity through an acquaintance that provides parental controls to monitor what kids watch on the internet. Ranheim, who has a 12 year old daughter, wanted to make it easy for parents to monitor the internet. "We created a physical device that goes into the computer. It's similar to giving the keys to the car. This is a privilege, not a right," Ranheim states.
This widget give parents time and access control, filters bad sites and provides accountability. Parents can review recently visited sites. "Kids know that you know, they're being watched," Ranheim comments.
The product was launched publicly in April 2009, is being sold through two National mid size retailers and has appeared on QVC Shopping Network retailing at $59.99.
Ranheim continues to follow hockey and the teams he's played for and comments that most NHL players will keep playing the game, till they cut your skates off you.