Chariot Solutions CEO Mike Rappaport ran a code-driven football pool in high school - Technical.ly Philly

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May 31, 2017 10:55 am

Chariot Solutions CEO Mike Rappaport ran a code-driven football pool in high school

Before fantasy sports were a thing, Rappaport put his codings $kills to work.

High-school-era Mike Rappaport (left) and his two brothers.

(Courtesy photo)

Every entrepreneur has to start somewhere. In Lemonade Stand, we profile a local entrepreneur’s first venture or job. Tell us about yours.


Like a lot of tech entrepreneurs, Chariot Solutions CEO Mike Rappaport had an entry-level gig where he learned how to code.

In 1985, Rappaport took a “gopher” job at ATD American, a manufacturing and distribution center where his dad worked. He ran errands and other minor tasks until an opportunity arose to develop software: By the end of the summer he had created a sales system that the company would be using for several years.

“The opportunity to use technology for business was what I fell in love with at ATD,” said Rappaport, who worked at the company for 16 years. “I was completely hooked on the idea of connecting the two in order to create something useful.”

But then after entering — and losing — one too many football pools, Mike decided to put his programming skills to work. He created a system that would receive player information and update the winners of each game as they finished. 

Some high school and college friends helped him pedal the code-fueled football pool across campuses for commissions. Though the one-off enterprise was fun and profitable, by 1992 Rappaport settled down with his first official company: a software subsidiary of ATD called Skylight Systems, which ultimately led him to create Chariot Solutions in 2002.

Rappaport has long since put his pool-running days behind him. “These days it’s more like fantasy football,” he said. “I’ve been in my current league for over 20 years!”

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Roberto Torres

Roberto Torres became Technical.ly Lead Philly Reporter in May 2016. Prior, he was a freelance contributor to Technical.ly and Al Dia News. The native Venezuelan moved to Philadelphia in 2015 after reporting on research at his alma mater, the University of Zulia. Whenever he's not fencing deadlines, he can be found standing in line at Overbrook Pizza in West Philly, running Netflix/Hulu marathons with his wife or reading news from Venezuela.

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