Major league sports get a lot of attention with scores and news readily available through places like ESPN. But much of the time, high school sports are ignored. Scorebook Live provides a solution. Scorebook Live replaces the old-fashioned paper scorebook with an intuitive app that allows high school sports to reach a larger audience.
I got to interview Dan Beach, founder and CEO, of Scorebook Live:
How did you get your start in entrepreneurship?
I started my first company in 1999 while living in San Diego. It was called AirEdge and the concept back then was to tap into the potential of Internet connected cellular phones. Our software solution was based on the premise that everyone functions as part of groups, and each of these people bounce from one group to the next based on time of day, day of the week. Each of the groups that you are a member of have things in common. A family group, a work group, a group of golfing buddies, a carpool, a group of college friends, etc. We had this amazing Psychologist on our team, Dr. Richard Levak that had helped create the TV show Survivor by advising the producers on behaviors of individuals inside groups. We thought that we were really onto something but we failed to recognize at the time is that our vision of this connected world of consumers was not actually present yet. Our vision was just too early. There was no such thing as a smart phone, or a mobile app. The carriers used WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and they sold placement on their handsets to the highest bidder so if you were a “start up” it was going to be nearly impossible for anyone to actually find your product (also pre-google so searching wasn’t anywhere near what it is today). This was the lesson that taught me that being “too early” is the same thing as being wrong. I still think it could work today but there is this other company out there called Facebook that may have already moved into this space…
How did you come up with the idea for Scorebook Live?
I saw a number of really good companies and apps out on the “youth sports market” like GameChanger, iScore, SportEngine, MaxPreps, HUDL, and Krossover while I was working for ESPN. So my intent was to simply try and come up with product & service ideas that could fill a niche inside this very large market without actually doing exactly what the existing companies were doing. So the “idea” of Scorebook Live is to fill the voids that still exist in the market while continually learning how to better serve our customers.
I noticed that many of your past occupations have dealt with sports. Why is that and why continue that with ScoreBook Live?
I originally wanted to be a college or high school coach but then found it necessary to enter the business world. When I was fortunate enough to meet the people at ESPN during my employment at Disney I realized that it wasn’t too late to make a living working inside the sports industry so I simply decided to follow my passion and focus my efforts 100% on sports.
How do you attract people to use Scorebook Live? Why do you believe that teams should use your platform?
We are attempting to solve 2 problems inside the market. The 1st is that high school fans are severely under-served by existing media when compared to how they are being served by pro and college sports media & leagues. We also believe that available technology can eliminate the age old process of forcing schools to manually report their scores, schedules, stats and standings to administrative and media partners. So any coach or AD that is interested in engaging their fans in a more competitive manner while at the same time, eliminating the tedious tasks of post game reporting are finding that Scorebook Live is a viable solution for them.
You’ve raised over $1.5 million in seed money. How do you convince investors to put money on you and your brand?
Our current group of investors has two things in common. They want to make money and they understand the value that we are providing to a very large marketplace. Maybe more important though is they believe in our team and know that we are putting in the work necessary to succeed in a way that creates the type of return they are looking for in an investment of this nature.
As CEO, what does your typical day look like?
Every day is different which is what I truly enjoy. I’m fortunate to have an excellent team of people that know what they need to accomplish each day of the week, which allows me to spend the majority of my time externally focused on talking to customers, partners and others that can help us move the ball down the field each day, and each season. I use the weekends to review our progress, refine and test our products and even watch a ballgame or spend time with my wife.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
We are all products of our experiences. I’ve been fortunate to work for some of the greatest brands and companies in the World in Disney, ESPN, IBM and Motorola while also venturing out on my own from time to time to learn how to be an entrepreneur. Had a chance to sell my first company and didn’t, but the market quickly imploded and made funding or acquiring customers a problem. So in hindsight, we should have sold when we had the chance.
Where do you see Scorebook Live in 5 years?
Hopefully making our customers, employees and investors very happy.
To end, do you have any tips for sports-oriented entrepreneurs?
It isn’t easy to give blanket advice to anyone. We have all different goals, backgrounds, and capabilities. If I were to offer advice it would be to find a co-founder that has skills that you don’t have. If you are a developer find a business co-founder and vice versa. Build your solution in manageable phases so that you can get real customers using your product or service as soon as possible. Build out value and usage as fast as you can and be realistic about how you can monetize and scale over time. Being too early to a market is the same as being wrong, and being under capitalized will make it extremely difficult to succeed.
If you want to learn more about Scorebook Live, you can: