From this week on, we are publishing a series of interviews with Avatech Cycle 2 teams. This week we have this interview with Amirhossein Mandegar, CEO of SportUp.
Q: What is SportUp?
A: SportUp`s mission is to get more people involved in sports. We provide integrated service to connect people, Sport clubs and coaches.
People can search and find their favorite activity and club based on their requirements and enroll and use fast and easily. On the other hand clubs and coaches can dramatically reduce management overheads by our online business management software.
Q: Where does this idea come from?
A: From my childhood I’ve always loved sports and I did various sports such as Basketball, Martial arts, Ski, Tennis and … I also have professional experience in Kick Boxing, Ski, Climbing and Tennis. During this long time doing sports I’ve always faced difficulties to find a suitable place for doing sports. On the other hand I have friends who own sport clubs and are coaches. I noticed their problem for management overhead and time consuming repetitive tasks. For many years I’ve thought about a service which solves all these problems. Actually I have thought about an integrated service for athletes, clubs and coaches to reduce non-related overhead and help them have more free their time to focus on their business and improve the quality of their activity.
Q: What is the value SportUp creates?
A: When you want to do a sport, why do you to think about anything else except doing, coaching and learning? The value of our service is providing facilities and tools to remove relevant overhead.
Just do sport and let us handle everything else.
Q: Tell us about your team (co-founders) & what brought you together?
A: We are four co-founders and sport enthusiasts. Two of us are professional athletes and we feel these problems. Amir Hossein Shahravan and Afrooz Katanbaf Nasab are focusing on Business development. Ali Gorzin and I (Amir Hossein Mandegar) are responsible for product development. Actually I’ve worked with all of them separately and I was aware of their capability for developing this project. We are really interested in entrepreneurship and novel services related to sport and health.
Q: How do you see your future and how do you plan for it?
A: In one word, future is brilliant.
We clarify our plans and road map by variety of features. We want to get more people involved in sports hence we always prioritize our features based on customers’ needs and customer satisfaction. We are here to make our users’ lives more active along with health. At this stage we focus in Tehran, but we don’t like to limit our capabilities and service, hence Iran and Middle East are next stage of our expansion plan.
Q: What challenges are on your way to grow?
A: Like other startups we have challenges on our way but right now the biggest challenge for SportUp as a brand new service it will take time to show all of our facilities and capabalities to our users.
Q: How did you get to know Avatech?
A: I knew accelerator’s ecosystem and I always followed news and weblogs related to entrepreneurship and startups. I followed first cycle events and progress until announcement of Cycle 2 of Avatech Acceleration Program. I decided to apply for Avatech, prepare materials and we met them at first interview and pitch session. And …. We are here now.
Q: How has been your experience with Avatech?
A: First 8 weeks of pre-acceleration were wonderful experience. Network of motivated peoples, business related workshops, valuable interactions with many people, mentors and cycle #1 teams improved our business knowledge, made us strong against troubles and helped us clear our path.
Q: What keeps you motivated during difficult moments?
A: Our team members have definite goals, no fear about challenge and are supportive. We believe we can bring more active, fun and healthy life style for people. This social responsibility keeps us strong and motivated against difficulties.
Q: What is your biggest success until now?
A: We have started dealing with clubs, coaches and athletes. Their feedback regarding our concept and product was exciting. To achieve our mission and a happy customer at the same time, these feedbacks have been one of our biggest successes until now.
Q: If you could talk to people who want to start a startup, what would be your advice?
A: Do not go wrong way, before anything analyze your market size and be sure about it, real problem and solution. Always there is time for implementation just on a right way.