What services do you offer?
Sports technology startup building COMPETE, a virtual sports competition ecosystem.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy the creativity of building something from scratch and solving a problem that makes the world a better place.
What inspired you to start your business?
My drive to establish a virtual sports competition stems from my journey in water skiing, particularly during its prime in the 80s and 90s when it enjoyed substantial coverage on ESPN and drew crowds of up to 10,000 spectators. However, as television coverage waned in the mid-90s, the sport declined, facing challenges of limited exposure and increasing technical demands to compete at in-person events. Recognizing the need to reignite interest and democratize participation, the solution was twofold: first, scoring the sport simply and easily anywhere, anytime, and second, networking all niche sports in a similar dilemma into one marketing vehicle. I initially explored mechanical solutions to measure water skiing skills from any boat anywhere but found selling such a device impractical. The advent of smartphones in 2017 sparked a new vision to score water skiing virtually using the features of a smartphone. This concept, buoyed by the rise of E-sports, fantasy leagues, AI scoring, and augmented reality, gained further validation during the COVID era, highlighting the imperative for remote sports engagement and the potential for a networked ecosystem uniting technological advancements and sports enthusiasts worldwide.
What gets you out of bed every morning?
I am a very driven and creative person who will not quit until I have succeeded. The vision of the COMPETE Virtual Sports Ecosystem could not be clearer in my mind, and I feel I have been given the vision for some reason. I must make it a reality no matter how long it takes. I think I need to make sure that the underrepresented niche sports are an integral part of its future.
What is your secret to making progress each day?
You have to be disciplined at sitting at your deck working when there is not one looking over your shoulder. You also need to be creative enough to know what to try next to make your vision a reality.
Tell us one thing people don’t know about you.
While I am a Hall of Fame water skier, I really don’t like to swim or get wet. Jumping in the water is just a necessary part of water skiing. Skiing on top of the water is the cool part.
A typical weekend for me is…
I am usually training, coaching and driving other skiers at our ski club in Orlando.
What will people get from your business that they won’t get anywhere else?
I believe that we will introduce new people to old sports, helping revitalize those sports. I think we will connect people to new communities of like-minded people to inspire them to be more active. I believe we will democratize exposure and opportunity in all sports at all levels, not just the ESPN or Olympic-chosen sports.
Have you won any awards or had any special recognition or acknowledgement of your business?
What are your plans for the future of your business?
Our mission is to reverse the decline in sports participation and enhance overall health and wellness. Recognizing the sedentary impact of social media and video games, we aim to harness these tools to inspire connection, play, and increased activity levels. Envisioning a billion-dollar virtual sports industry mirroring its in-person counterpart, we seek to unite diverse sports audiences and unlock unprecedented potential by enabling novel forms of gameplay unconstrained by time and location.
What’s your secret talent no one knows about?
I am a visionary who can see things before others can.
What did you want to be when growing up?
What is your favorite thing to do in the wonderful area of Central Florida?
Water ski and go boating all year long!
What would people never guess you do in your role?
In my role, I do absolutely everything that needs to be done in a startup, including taking out the trash, drawing wireframes and logos for the app, testing our motion trackers on my water ski, writing, building webpages, sitting in every tech meeting…there is nothing I have not done.
What do you love most about your industry?
I love the startup world because it is full of creative, driven, visionary people all solving a world problem they experienced or identified.
How have you advanced professionally since starting your business?
I have advanced professionally by learning to do things I did not know how to do. I didn’t know what a pitch deck was when I started, and now I have created 200 of them. I now also understand coding and development, which I did not know. Sadly, much of it is because offshore developers have taken advantage of me, and it requires me to become smarter. I plan to write a start-up book with all I have learned to help the next founder avoid making the same mistakes.