Pete Santora | Pro Soccer Player Turned SaaS Entrepreneur

Pete Santora is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence and a Startup Catalyst at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC). He’s worked on multiple tech projects including Blue Sombrero and ThundrLizard, and he even writes for StartupDigest. However, his passion hasn’t always been in the tech world. In fact, Pete was was the first 1st team All America in Furman soccer history and a professional soccer player and coach before discovering his love for startups.

Now his passion lies in SaaS entrepreneurship. His first company was Blue Sombrero, named after a soccer move. He and his team engineered an online registration platform that better fit families and soccer leagues than existing competitors. According to Pete, it was his “first SaaS baby.” Founded in 2002, the mission of Blue Sombrero was to give back to the youth sports community by helping sports groups run more efficiently – spending more time and energy inspiring kids to love sports rather than doing paperwork. It is the leading provider of online registration and web design for youth sports and provides web design and online registration services to thousands of sports clubs across the country. Blue Sombrero was acquired by Dicks Sporting Goods in 2010.

Pete then founded a SaaS company called ThundrLizard, which helped VPs of sales and business development managers magnify their coaching. The platform was built on more than 400 executive interviews and work at Flashpoint, the Georgia Tech innovation lab. The software allowed reps to share calls that they want feedback on without putting pressure on the manager.

Pete also helps organize Atlanta Lean Startup and he’s a mentor for Startup Weekend.

Check out college aged Pete in a Furman University Publication:


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