WHAT: A web-based app that makes it easier to run a swim team, which often consists of 100+ swimmers. SwimTopia lets athletes, coaches and family members register and manage things like signing up for individual races to volunteer registration with one service, done online -- popular current methods require each coach manage their team's activity with a single unit.
SwimTopia also lets families with multiple swimmers input their family information once instead of repeating the process. Coaches can populate relay teams and fill race spots automatically or in combination with manually selected teams. The system also tracks fundraising activities.
LAUNCHERS: Mason Hale, CTO, is the former chief technologist at Frog Design; Nathan Jones, CEO, founder and former CEO of Academic Superstore.
WHY: Most teams still use paper to manage their teams or Team Manager, software built in the 1990s that is limited to a single computer or laptop. Teams and booster clubs are willing to pay for software that improves team performance [ see our Hudl profile ].
WHEN/WHERE: Feb. 2011 / Austin.
BACKSTORY: Mason's children were on a swim team where he discovered that teams were using a system developed in the 1990s to manage and organize their team. Mason built SwimTopia to make his own life easier in managing his children's swim team.
BUSINESS MODEL: Seasonal subscriptions based on size of team. In first season of use, teams paid an average of $500 each for Swimtopia.
COMPETITION: Team Manager, Team Unify.
ON COMPETITION: Team Manager is an out-of-date system that hasn't seen any significant update since it was first released in the 1990s, Mason says. Team Unify is a similar service to SwimTopia, but since its market share is only about 10%, Mason says there is plenty of room for SwimTopia.
CUSTOMERS/GROWTH: 2,700 users since Feb. launch; 1,100 swimmers.
GOAL: To make team management easier through the use of web-based online tools and applications.
WHO BACKED IT: Capital Factory.
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 2.
The coach or manager can see upcoming meets.
To organize an individual team's relay groups and other races, a coach can use the "auto generate" feature to staff each relay team or individually modify a race and lock it; the coach can also auto-generate the remaining groups.
If a coach chooses to manually input swimmers for a race, a list of available athletes is appears the race screen and can be ordered by time. Athletes who appear in gray with a letter "A" next to their name are available at this meet, but have been placed on another relay group.
1. Team Bonding Suffers in the Tech Age (Sports Illustrated, Aug. 25, 2011)
2. SwimTopia Relay Demo (SwimTopia, July 27, 2011)
CONTACTS & LINKS
Mason at SwimTopia dot com
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