Alex McDonald, Mehmet Bajin, and Jeff Kim — all fitness competition enthusiasts — had all worked at the same healthcare software company in Madison, Wisconsin, but didn’t realize that they’d all relocated to Atlanta until McDonald and Bajin ran into each other while biking. The three software experts teamed up to make those fitness competitions more efficient to run, putting the focus back where it’s supposed to be: on the athletes.
When participating in competitions, the team noted that many organizers still market the competition, register competitors, and score events on paper. Not only does this consume the staff’s time, it lessens the athletes’ experience and makes the data difficult to review after the competition. They determined to automate the process.
The team took an original idea of Bajin’s, which focused only on CrossFit gyms, and turned it into WODLeader, a sustainable, SaaS-based tool that helps any competition organizer streamline all their marketing, scheduling, onboarding and operations. Because McDonald and Kim are in the Emory University MBA program, they were able to take advantage of customer discovery resources in the school’s Startup Launch Accelerator.
What does WODLeader do?
WODLeader’s SaaS solution helps organizers of athletic and academic competitions manage marketing, registration, scheduling, and scorekeeping. We mainly serve customers who throw competitions multiple times per year. These customers don’t want to start from square one every time they host an event which is a repeat of a past event. We are eliminating duplicate work by allowing organizers to copy forward settings from their previous competition. We are also making it easy for them to market to people who have participated before.
Are you funded or bootstrapped?
The three of us are experienced in enterprise software varying from support, implementation, and development. As a result, we are currently bootstrapping ourselves and not seeking investments.
Could you describe the market and competitors?
We are taking a data-driven approach to our business strategy, so we are continually learning about the market. We currently have the most experience in CrossFit gyms, where we are establishing our position relative to competing software. Most of our competitors treat competitions as a one-time event, so once the competition is over, there’s nothing you can do with the data. We want to get the repeat competition organizers to use the platform throughout the year, so they can build upon the last event they hosted. As the competitions get bigger, our customers are happier, and we get better.
Is the product currently available on the market?
Version One is currently available on the marketplace for purchase. We have a major release planned for Spring 2019 which will include many new features our customers have told us are important. We expect this release will get us a lot of attention in the marketplace and set us up well for future development.
What are your next steps?
In addition to the upcoming release, we plan to expand into different verticals such as rock climbing gyms, golf tournaments and basketball leagues. There are many different competitions with similar basic marketing and registration needs, but we will also address the important differences so each organizer receives the perfect solution.