In this the fourth of a series of stories profiling presenting companies at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s annual Tech Venture conference, Chaz Henry of Cary-based PowerChalk talks about his firm’s aim to boost sports performance.
What is your “elevator pitch” you will use at the CED Tech Venture Conference?
On the strength of the worlds first zero footprint video analysis system, PowerChalk has built a portal where coaches and athletes of all sports can get online analysis of their sports performance.
What is the “secret sauce” of your firm that sets you apart?
Our video markup and analysis tool, the ChalkTalk Telestrator, is delivered completely through the browser. Our competitors install hundreds of megabytes of software and reconfigure your video drivers. This feature was a primary driver of our agreements with Little League Baseball, the Amateur Softball Association, USA Diving and other large sports organizations.
The product is a service. User uploads a video of themselves pitching, swinging, kicking, punching, hooping, etc. They can view in slow mo and markup on the site. They can also choose from hundreds of professional coaches online and buy a paid lesson.
Do you have a motto/slogan that you feel captures the energy/mission of your firm?
Internal: Buy a Lesson
External: Serious coaches and athletes use PowerChalk
Who are your “heroes” in business? How are you trying to emulate them?
Guy Kawasaki [former chief evangelist at Apple]. We put version 1.0 out there and let the customers take us where we need to go. We’re currently on version 7.67.
What triggered your initial thoughts about launching a company? How has that original thinking/goal changed or evolved since your launch?
PowerChalk was born of a video lesson at the Faldo Golf Academy in Orlando. After a video analysis, I realized that there was no web based solution.
Why did you choose to launch a company in what has been a difficult economic environment since 2008?
You create products because the idea and challenge won’t go away. The weather may be a factor but the weather report is not a reason to stay home.
What is the business “need” you are seeking to address? What problem do you solve, and for whom?
Recreational athletes want to get better and need access to professional coaches. Historically, pro coaches put out DVDs and generic lessons. Pro athletes get coaching specifically on their performance. PowerChalk brings that level of instruction to recreational athletes.
What products are you offering/planning to offer?
Individual lessons delivered by pro athletes and coaches.
Video analysis subscriptions delivered as a service.
Why do you believe investors should be interested in your firm?
ROI. In our short run, we have partnerships with ten household name companies. There is a huge payback if we become an international hub for online coaching.
How much funding are you seeking, if any, and how would the funding be used?
$4m. Execution of our partnerships.
How much funding have you raised to date? How much funding in grants (please specify)?
$1m of angel investment.
Are you hiring at the present time, and if so how many positions are you looking to fill?
We will hire 3-4 people at the close of funding.