Madison Wickham speaks about his popular startup

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Madison Wickham is the president and CEO of Grandex Inc., the media company behind Total Frat Move and Total Sorority Move. Wickham spoke to students as part of the Delta Sigma Pi fraternity’s “DSPeaks” series Tuesday evening.

Photo Credit: Amy Zhang | Daily Texan Staff

Madison Wickham, CEO and president of the company that started Total Frat Move and Total Sorority Move, spoke at the SAC on Tuesday about his experiences in the world of startups. 

Wickham, a graduate of Texas State University, said he had decided to abandon the idea of starting a company after being part of several failed projects. 

“Screw this whole plan to start my own business,” Wickham said. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I just need to go work for somebody else that knows what they’re doing.” 

However, after only months of working a desk job, Wickham said he felt ready to start a company of his own — but for different reasons from before.

“The thing that motivated me to start my own company was that I didn’t want to be controlled by a boss,” Wickham said. “The thing that you kind of find out once you start your own company is that you’re working for yourself, and you’re going to be harder on yourself than any boss out there.” 

Wickham said there isn’t an accurate depiction of Greek life in the media despite the significant number of students involved. 

“The premise was kind of that nobody in the entertainment world had done a good job of capturing Greek life authentically,” Wickham said. “Anytime you see a movie or a TV show that portrays a frat guy, it’s always some kind of watered-down Hollywood rendition.” 

Total Frat Move is set apart from other online media because it has carefully planned brand association, according to Wickham. 

“If you were to personify the TFM brand, you could imagine what that person is,” Wickham said. “You can imagine how they dress, what they like, what they don’t like, what bars they go to.” 

With a growing presence on college campuses, Total Frat Move has potential for a film spin-off, Wickham said.

“With TFM and the other media sites, we are at a point where we have a big enough audience where there are people in the kind of Hollywood film realm that are interested in working with us to co-produce various things,” Wickham said. 

Journalism junior Shannon Smith said she was surprised by the company’s small size.

“It surprises me that they are really successful years later after they first started, but their team isn’t a hundred people,” Smith said. “To be really successful doesn’t mean everything has to be really big.”