Innovator of the Week – Where Are They Now?
CEO of Boxscore
Well, we’re approaching summer of 2017 and much has changed and evolved for Boxscore over the last 12 months. The journey of a startup is never predictable or what you plan but adapting to changes and running through walls is something that is needed to make things happen.
I could preface the story with a soap opera type of introduction…previously on Boxscore, but I wouldn’t want to cheapen the road we have taken. First, we completed the 2016 Accelerate NH program, put on by Alpha Loft, with a successful demo day and an opportunity to tell numerous people about our startup. It was a great milestone but my co-founder Scott Crowder and I realized that already a year or so into the business, we were just at the beginning of this journey. The biggest challenge for Boxscore has always been engineering the platform. Boxscore is not a feature product, it’s a platform. With multiple dependencies and a sophisticated data model, we are not your average bear MVP. We had a technical co-founder early on and had made decent engineering progress but bootstrapping a startup can be like consistently scratching your nails on a chalkboard. You either build up a tolerance for it or you have to leave the room cringing after a while. Understandably so, our technical co-founder needed to move on and we were left with a partially built platform that had a great exoskeleton but not all the organs. It was a genuine blow to momentum but our athlete genes emerged and being competitive, stubborn and filled with a huge amount of passion for this project we continued to move forward to see what we could do to get this business off the ground.
Back to the drawing board it was. We weighed our options and being at Alpha Loft is one of the most supportive, cool places to be to meet new people and surround yourself with very smart, passionate people that love startups. We were fortunate enough to cross paths with Wasabi Ventures and TK Kuegler. Over the last few months at Alpha Loft we had some great conversations with Ron Emrick who runs engineering at Wasabi, and also coaches football. Ron had some great feedback and thoughts on our platform. He recommended we ask for a meeting with TK, who also had coached football to get some feedback. Meeting with an investor can go one of two ways, bad and worse. Bad is good because it means you will get constructive feedback and hopefully get takeaways to hone what you are doing. You can’t take offense. Worse is the standard. It’s the acting equivalent of don’t quit your day job. That’s not to say investors are all negative. It just means they know markets and have a keen sense of what can work and will be blunt in telling you. Over the span of numerous conversations and getting some great feedback and realities we realized our overall vision was solid but our priorities and model needed a pivot, especially to scale and achieve revenue. Through this process and identifying our pain points Wasabi and Boxscore partnered and we were lucky enough to become a portfolio company. Our platform was going to get built.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and this was a massive MVP. The core of Boxscore includes features for youth and amateur sports teams to manage their seasons and for fans to be able to engage with their teams in real time. I’m distilling it by about 50x so if you are curious about what we are doing and want more information and are passionate about sports you can contact Scott or myself. Boxscore successfully launched our web app, iOS and Android mobile app about three weeks ago and we are finally in market. Now we are in marketing and promotion mode.
Every new phase of a startup seems like a new beginning. Almost another startup in and of itself. After a five month build we are still in our infancy and we have a group of teams beta testing and we will be beginning advertising and promotion through channels in the next few weeks. The outlook for Boxscore is very positive. We have had wonderful feedback and we will now iterate with improvements and new features to carry the product into new organizations and leagues to help them have successful seasons, tournaments and camps. We are keen on user experience and solving problems for sports teams. We are product focused because at the end of that day that’s what becomes our brand and reputation. The product is pinnacle. We are excited about what is next.