Mike Ressler founded Pittsburth's StatEasy
in 2010 with six customers and a business model based on selling subscriptions to coaches for its sports software platform. Today he has 180 customers and is on his way to raising $1 million in capital. But equally significant for a young company, Ressler took a hard look at conditions on the ground and has deftly executed a 180-degree pivot in his strategy.
Last summer, StatEasy decided to become free to high school coaches. The new target customer is a player's parent. Ressler recalls a five-hour meeting at a northwestern Pennsylvania school district at which three hours were devoted to cutting referees to save a grand total of $2,400 for the season. "That's the level of budget issues that they are facing," says Ressler. High school coaches, he concluded, "don't have much money at all" and a subscription service to integrate statistics and video is a luxury they couldn't afford.
But for parents and students who need highlight reels and statistics to impress college recruiters, StatEasy is a useful tool and a relative bargain for only $300 for the season – compared to a single, traditional highlight video which can run around $1,000. What’s more, StatEasy has instituted revenue sharing with the participating schools, "a win for the school and for StatEasy," says Ressler.
StatEasy is doing a soft launch of its new model this week with the Western PA Quad A basketball league – 60 teams at 34 schools. Ressler has won a total of $300,000 in funding from Innovation Works
, $50,000 from Carnegie Mellon's Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund
and is in talks with angel investors as far away as Texas and California.
Source: Mike Ressler, StatEasy
Writer: Elise Vider