Featured Startup Pitch: Korrio seeks to transform the youth sports world using the cloud, social media and mobile technology

By Editor April 17, 2012

Korrio_logoCompany: Korrio

Website: www.korrio.com

Founder: Steve Goldman

Headquarters: Seattle

Year Founded: 2009

Investors: Ignition Partners, Martin Coles, Sam Schmidt and Damon Huard

Twitter: @KorrioSports

Brief Company Description: KorrioSports uses cloud and mobile technology to support the youth sports market with club management tools and social networking for members to share their sports life.


steve_goldman_korrioBy Steve Goldman, Korrio CEO and Founder

Korrio is a cloud-based service for the youth sports market, providing both administrative tools for organizations and a social network for families and players, all in a single integrated platform. We built Korrio to take advantage of advances in cloud and mobile technologies and to improve the youth sports experience for players, families, coaches and organizations. Emphasizing simplicity and unity, we designed our product as an integrated, intuitive and easy system to help volunteers and staff run youth sports organizations, and help young players and their families keep their sports lives organized and social.

In the past, most youth sports organizations needed four-to-six different software programs to accomplish all that Korrio can do, such as: online registration; team formation for recreation and tryout-based teams; roster management and compliance; dynamic scheduling for leagues, clubs, teams and individuals; financial management and reporting; messaging and last-minute alerts; and webhosting for clubs and teams.

But what truly sets Korrio apart is how it merges crucial administrative functions with family-oriented features that allow players, parents, coaches and administrators to organize and share their sports lives. Users connect through personalized auto-generated dashboards, where they can view and manage practice and game schedules, weather conditions, game uniforms, field directions and photos—all of which can be shared online and through smartphones with family and friends via walls, private messaging and email. Our functionality closely connects administrators, coaches, families and players together, creating a strong community.

Korrio is often described by parents as “Facebook with training wheels” because it’s the first experience most children have with a social network. When parents register for the season, they set up their child’s profile and account. Granting kids access to the web concerns most parents and it concerns us, too. That’s why we built Korrio with state-of-the-art privacy technology, combined with full SSL encryption on every webpage, making our community one of the safest online. In addition, our patent-pending system uses a privacy policy engine that makes it simple and safe for members. The system governs what each user can see, based on their role (parent, coach, team manager, registrar or teammate); it knows who everyone is and how they’re connected to the player. And the system automatically pushes content they care about directly into their personal dashboards.

The idea for Korrio came to me while coaching my kids’ sports teams. After growing frustrated with cumbersome administrative processes and poor communications between leagues, coaches, administrators and families, I realized youth sports were in desperate need of innovation and organization. My 25 years in the technology field, as CEO of Isilon Systems and a senior executive at F5 Networks, helped me recognize the potential to apply mobile and cloud technologies to the problem; I knew I could create a product that would improve youth sports for everyone involved. My personal experience as a lifelong athlete, coach and parent—coupled with my professional background—motivated me to found Korrio.

To get started, we raised early seed money from Angels such as Martin Coles (former COO of Starbucks, CEO of Reebok, and Nike executive), who offered a wealth of sports marketing experience. Later, we secured $3.3 million in Series A funding from Ignition Partners. Partner John Connors (former CFO of Microsoft) led the investment and joined our board of directors.

After conducting market research, product development, and building the management team, we launched Korrio into the U.S. youth soccer market at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Convention in January of 2011. We chose the soccer market based on its size, gender balance and growth—and our desire to focus on one sport to start. Korrio will be expanding into multiple additional sports later in 2012. We strategically executed our product promotion through a series of trade shows, direct sales calls to targeted organizations, concentrated marketing, PR efforts, and word-of-mouth in the youth soccer community.

Korrio’s business model involves selling the service to soccer clubs based on a per player annual license fee. Families and players gain access to the system by simply registering their player through organizations using the Korrio platform.

As we continue to scale our business we’re always looking to add talented contributors to our roster. For example, we have an immediate need for more software developers to help us add additional functionality into the platform and extend our mobile capabilities.

We believe Korrio is a game changer for the youth sports market, because it addresses the needs of both sports organizations and consumers in a single platform. Never before has a youth sports platform tied together all of the administrative and operational tools organizations need, combined with direct communications and management tools for players and families. Families and players benefit from Korrio’s simple tools, which help them manage their sports lives. Meanwhile, our fun social networking features allow them to share their news, experiences and accomplishments with friends and extended family.

Our mission—to create simplicity and unity around the sports experience through cloud and mobile technology—has given our children the transformative opportunity to document and share their sports lives in ways well beyond anything we ever knew, as kids.

Korrio – www.korrio.com