Triton tech solutions in the stands and on the field.
Sourcing the Score
“You don’t always choose the idea. It’s more like the idea chooses you.” This was the case for David Podolsky, Revelle ’02, who had just taken his first entrepreneurial exeunt from Digium, a business phone system he co-developed, when the next idea found him—crowdsourcing the world of high school sports.
“That was the need at the time, and that’s what we did,” says Podolsky. “Mobile was really picking up and we saw a lot of parents going to the games but other parents couldn’t. So, how do we keep those people in touch?”
The answer was ScoreStream, a mobile app with which anyone can keep up with local sports, as those who attend the games update scores and even upload in-action photos for those who aren’t able to be there. But what makes this app work so well among sports fans is the way Podolsky built it—with the user in mind.
“It comes down to building something that’s compelling. Really trying to get into the mindset of the user—I think that’s one of the hardest things to do. You won’t be successful if you don’t get into the head of the users you’re trying to make the product for.”
Little did Podolsky know that those users would eventually be his own family. With young kids at home, he and his wife Renae, Revelle ’03, couldn’t make it out to see Triton games. Renae played water polo in college and when UC San Diego made it to the 2014 Western Waterpolo Association Championships, she desperately wanted to follow the team. “It was great because that’s when ScoreStream was coming out. The parents and fans stepped up and scored every single UCSD women’s water polo game with ScoreStream. My wife got to enjoy all that while at home with our kids. It ties everything together. I never foresaw that ScoreStream would be a solution for my wife. It just reaffirms that it fits user needs.”
Leveling the Playing Field
For engineers Cory Ducker, Warren ’02, and Jeremy Weir, Muir ’02, it wasn’t just an idea that found them, but an entrepreneurial spirit found in each other. Though both were students at UC San Diego, the pair never crossed paths before their first job at PINT, a web development firm. The Triton connection made them fast friends, yet after a few years working on the same projects, both were bored and hungry for a new and exciting challenge. The idea this time?
Revolutionizing the world of athletic recruitment.
Commonly referred to as “the LinkedIn for sports recruiting,” FieldLevel is now one of the most popular apps used to track high school athletes, facilitating the process for colleges to choose their new additions. The technology has even come full circle, as UC San Diego as well as other big-name universities across the nation use FieldLevel to recruit their newest team members.
And given that many of the recruits are awarded scholarships as well, Ducker and Weir find immense satisfaction that their product helps provide opportunity to those who otherwise would have difficulty achieving an education without the help of athletics. Weir cites this social impact as his main justification for taking the leap into the startup world. Ducker thinks likewise—“the risk was 100 percent worth taking.”
It certainly was. FieldLevel has recently earned big league attention, selected as one of 10 startups to participate in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ business accelerator program. The app’s future is bright, yet Ducker and Weir remain most proud of the home run they’ve hit for college recruitment—helping to bring over 13,000 students to college so far, and facilitating more opportunity for young athletes to thrive.