CoachMePlus Completes Fundraising for Athlete Management System

CoachMePlus, a Buffalo-based company behind an eponymous athlete management system, recently completed a $600,000 round of venture capital fundraising, according to the company. The latest round followed a $1 million round of fundraising in October 2013.

The CoachMePlus software aggregates data from disparate sources into a single dashboard, making it easier for coaches and training staffs to combine the data from different wearable sensors, camera-based systems, and other sources. As such, they draw comparisons to Kinduct and Kitman Labs, which TechGraphs has recently covered. The difference, according to president and co-founder Kevin Dawidowicz, is that CoachMePlus was developed by “software guys,” rather than people with a physiology background. As a result, he argues, the company’s software is agnostic to a trainer’s methodology, which can mean a lot in a field as contentious as injury prevention.

“If I’m an industry expert, I’m going to shape my ideas and my software around my thought process,” Dawidowicz said. “But if you don’t believe in that methodology, then the software doesn’t work.”

This can be an advantage for teams with established sports science programs, who subscribe to their own theories on what keeps their athletes healthy. CoachMePlus also combines raw data with the outputs of algorithms produced by device companies to give front offices more options when working with data.

“We have universities that will use raw force plate data, put their own algorithms on top of it, and come up with their own indicators,” Dawidowicz said. “Nobody else is doing that.”

But not every organization is quite that advanced. For those cases, CoachMePlus has a network of consultants in place that teams can hire to help them analyze their data. The network, which Dawidowicz said was built entirely by word of mouth, keeps CoachMePlus from being influenced by a specific methodology.

“Everything that we’ve done is kind of through word of mouth, trade show attendance, and networking through different channels,” Dawidowicz said. “If you build these longstanding trust relationships, these coaching trees and these sport science trees open up because you’ve actually delivered for somebody.”

In addition to its data management tools, CoachMePlus also features workflow management tools, which Dawidowicz believes to be unique among his competitors. The tools allow coaches and training staffs to perform repetitive tasks like weigh-ins quickly and efficiently, even for large teams. The workflow tools also allow staffs to more effectively communicate with their athletes, so that athletes coming off the field can be quickly routed to the appropriate recovery therapy.

“We’ve created these workflows in our system that display this information throughout facilities and it lets people know ‘Something’s wrong,’ or ‘Go do something'” Dawidowicz said.

The origins of the company date back to the early 2000s, when Dawidowicz was running a software consulting company. The Buffalo Sabres’ strength and conditioning coach came to Dawidowicz to make an interactive version of the team’s workout book. But Dawidowicz, whose interest in strength and conditioning came out of his days as a self-described “bro-science gym rat,” saw the potential for something much more interesting.

“I get down to the locker room and I go, ‘You don’t want that, you want a calendar, and you want to put your periodiziation model on there, and you want to track your sets and reps, and you want to put your body fat percentages…’ and I’m just going on and on about all the stuff that it could be instead,” he said.

This relationship continued for a few years until the Sabres increased their budget, giving CoachMePlus the money to develop a prototype system. In 2011, CoachMePlus brought the prototype to the NHL combine in Toronto and signed deals with the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets. The company still counts those organizations among their 48 customers.

“We’ve never lost a team, we’ve never gotten to the point where a team’s not going to renew with us,” Dawidowicz said.

In addition to their athlete management system, CoachMePlus has begun working with wearable device manufacturers to develop software that teams can use to take advantage of the new technologies.

“There are actual device companies right now that have given up on being software companies and instead pump their data into our system,” Dawidowicz said. “We’re finding more and more device companies looking to focus on just the hardware, and then we help them by focusing on the software.”

The additional venture capital funding will allow CoachMePlus to support the data management needs of even more organizations. Dawidowicz says the company will continue its focus on building software to the needs of its clients.

“It’s such a noisy market out there,” he said. “We’re playing the long game of, ‘Get the next customer, make them happy, continue.'”

Bryan Cole is a contributor to TechGraphs and a featured writer at Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @Doctor_Bryan.

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