Below is the first of a few videos from the most recent Miami Innovation Fund event called GeekTank. The event was held at Citrix headquarters in Fort Lauderdale. I’ll have another post soon recognizing the judges and sponsors, but wanted to get these videos processed and up as soon as I could.
There were 3 pitches at the event and 2 of them were fairly well done.
This pitch by Travis Smith, the CEO of Miami Startup Athletic Select was clear, persuasive, and articulate. The company is creating a marketplace for private sports coaches to find clients and vice versa. I certainly believe there is a significant market for our sports crazed society, but from his slides, I did see a significant level of competition that may make it difficult to generate enough coaches in his system nationwide to make it have the value it needs for students.
The team’s focus initially on South Florida is a solid strategic move given the significant number of young athletes in the community. It’s a way for him to grow the business and gain experience working out the kinks. It will also allow him to work on a minimally viable product without building out his entire infrastructure. They should also note, that this is definitely not something they need to build from scratch, because there are a good number of platforms that will allow you to create your marketplace and then customize as needed.
Another concern was his belief that he can generate $4 million in revenue in 2014. Aggressive projections are not uncommon with the startups I mentor, so I don’t put a lot of stock in it, but the judging panel did not ask for him to run the numbers any more deeply than he does in the pitch.
Locking in coaches to not circumvent his marketplace – I like the idea of liability insurance, but that won’t completely prevent it. When I helped with a similar model in the past, we used spot customer service calls to clients to gauge their satisfaction with the service and to let providers know we would check on the status.
Took a visit to their web site though and Athletic Select is missing out on potential interest, by not having an email signup form or social media follow capabilities on their countdown home page.
Travis has excellent skills and a wealth of experience to help grow his company, so we’ll have to see how things progress with Athletic Select over the next several months.