Clarence Bethea is a business entrepreneur, consumer advocate, community leader, coach, mentor and father. Over the years, Clarence has worked with businesses from startup to Fortune 500, and accrued incredible business knowledge and acumen along the way.
Clarence played an integral part in the launch of several companies, including 43 Hoops, a premier basketball training academy, as well as Gravelick, a local trucking startup that served clients such as Menards and Stockbuilders. In 2010, Clarence founded 2nd Chance Staffing, which provided a new model for the staffing industry. 2nd Chance Staffing offered businesses a substantial tax credit for hiring qualified, motivated employees, who are low-risk offenders and could use a second chance. The company successfully bridged the gap between corporate America and low-risk offenders, rehabilitating lives and bringing jobs to thousands of people.
Since then, Clarence has immersed himself in a new industry that could use a fresh perspective. The warranty industry’s checkered reputation has included huge price markups, high-pressure sales techniques, and murky terms and conditions. Clarence imagined a renewed experience, one that is consumer-friendly, transparent and educational, and cuts out the huge middleman price jacks, similar to the successful models employed by brands like Uber and Airbnb.
Clarence launched Upsie (www.upsie.com) in November 2014, a new mobile technology that reinvents and demystifies the warranty experience, so consumers can protect the products they love at warranty prices they can actually afford.
Since its launch, Upsie has garnered attention from CNBC, New England Cable News Network, The Chicago Tribune and Star Tribune. Upsie is soon expanding into auto warranties, and Clarence has been praised by top CEOs for his consumer advocacy and innovative business planning.
Clarence lives in Minneapolis, Minn. with his wife, daughter, and dog. He attended Bemidji State University, where he played college basketball and studied secondary education. Today, Clarence remains an active coach in the local basketball community and a committed mentor to young people who are seeking a career path in business and entrepreneurship.