Innovator of the Week
CEO of Boxscore
Alpha Loft Accelerate NH program
Please provide your 30-second pitch about your company.
Boxscore, formerly Jokkspot, is an amateur sports platform that combines the utility of team management with social tools to create a robust global network of sports information. Fans, parents and scorekeepers can crowdsource real-time updates from game action on their mobile device, including live scoring (With roster attribution), stats, photos and chatter. The team management side lets teams and coaches have full control of communication, season and tournament registration, schedules, rosters, stats, photos and more. Together they create a destination for coaches, athletes and fans to capture their entire sports career in one place. It’s a big data solution for amateur sports.
Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?
Boxscore has been a labor of love. Early on I was alone, doing surveys, finding pain points for teams, modeling proofs of concepts and even went offshore for an initial build. Being a single founder is probably the most lonely thing to experience as an entrepreneur. Everything is truly in a bubble. The biggest pivot and best resource was meeting co-founder Scott Crowder. It was the beginning of a collaborative effort that helped create clarity for the early stage of Boxscore t. Having more than one passionate person with skin in the game changes everything. Meeting Scott and ties to the state of New Hampshire helped us find Alpha Loft, which was one of the best things to happen to Boxscore. The support system there and true love for startups and educating passionate entrepreneurs helped shape what we are and who we will become.
What was your biggest obstacle in starting your company and how did you overcome it?
I have a passionate product background and with a strong vision and knowing what Boxscore can be in a few years it was easy to get lost in feature creep. The biggest obstacle was that Boxscore was too big. Narrowing focus and truly iterating to get to a MVP has been difficult due to the dependencies of the platform. We are creating a global platform so everything needs to be connected and allow for scale from regions, leagues and teams down to schedules, rosters and stats. The core of Boxscore is what makes us different and building it out has been challenging. This challenge created a high technical dependency, which is a hard one to overcome (Expensive in terms of resource and/or cost). I was fortunate the find the missing piece to our founder tripod in Eric Stobbart. He is a brilliant engineer and bringing him on as a co-founder has helped create realistic product goals and shape our direction to get to market with a powerful, scalable initial build.
What’s the best advice you have received?
From a startup perspective the best piece of advice I have received is to hold out on funding for as long as possible. Focus on the product and market and get to where you have conversations with potential investors with leverage. This way you get smart money and can build a company thoughtfully with your vision at the forefront. The minute you get a check, your accountably changes. It’s not just about your business and vision anymore, it’s about ROI and revenue. Both can be in synergy, which is optimal, but if you take money too early you can get overwhelmed and lose track as to why you started your business in the first place.
What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you?
Quality of living, growing ecosystem, great people, beautiful landscape, I mean the list goes on. New Hampshire is one of the more supportive infrastructures for small business I have seen. Places like Austin, Raleigh, San Diego, etc. are all growing like weeds in the small business/startup sector and I feel like New Hampshire, especially Manchester, is going in the same direction. I have to admit too that there are not many places in the country that can boast to having the best skiing and golf in the same state so that’s not too shabby either.
What does the future look like for your company?
The future looks very good. We are entering a growing SportsTech industry that’s seen 400% growth in the last 5 years and we entering a $26 billion dollar market, which gives us opportunity to take hold of revenue early while solving a big pain point that currently exists in the marketplace.
Connect with Boxscore on LinkedIn and Twitter!
Connect with Bob Leland on LinkedIn and Twitter!