Are you ready for a challenge?
Calling all sports fans! Novusport, a Houston-based startup, is a platform that measures the “sports graph” of an athlete. Once your sports graph is created you have the ability to share it with friends and family and compete globally with other users.
If you love competing then this is the app for you. Forget laying in front of the TV or computer to follow your favorite sports, get up and start doing them!
To earn points and create your sports graph, users simply upload a video as proof of personal completion of the specific activity. Users can earn these points with a variety of activities regardless of how athletic they are. You don’t need to be an expert; just perform the best of your ability and you will earn points and collect trophies in your virtual trophy gallery.
Learn more about how Novusport can help you reach your athletic goals by Hugo Aguilar, Founder & President.
What inspired you to start your company?
I’ve been obsessed with sports since I was a kid. I wanted to play all of them. Watching the Olympic Games as a young boy was always an exhilarating time for me, not only for the intense competition between countries but for the array of sports displayed.
As an adult, I developed a passion for technology and dreamed of a way to combine technology and sports -- something that would launch teams stretching around the world, with no boundaries, and help people to be the best they can be.
I began pondering of a unified method to define an athlete's overall physical abilities. At the Beijing games in 2008 I saw Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt dominate their respective sports, and I heard sportscaster Bob Costa speculate who was the best athlete of the two. Phelps was the fastest swimmer and Bolt the fastest runner in the world, yet, no way existed to conclude empirically who was the better overall athlete.
I began to work on developing a de facto measuring tool to define the unique “sports graph” of an athlete. I wanted to create a platform to entice athletes of all levels to try new sports, regardless of their talents. I was inspired by the possibility of defining a new breed of athletes -- athletes who are not just exceptional at a single sport, but impressive at many sports.
Tell us something unique about you and your co-founder?
Our interactive social media game is the brainchild of Houstonians Hugo Aguilar and co-founder Daniel Iturbe. We are computer geeks and sports fans who want to share our passion for blending active lifestyles with technology.
Tell us about your product or service.
Novusport has developed a game application that allows users to create their unique "sports graph" and share it with family and friends, -- and even compete globally, with no boundaries. Imagine being able to track your sports activities while enjoying the latest in social media. Our patent-pending mobile application will allow users to upload videos to validate the completion of predefined sports drills, known as ActivRs. Each ActivR, when completed and validated, populates the athlete’s sports graph based on 10 attributes: Ground Speed, Water Speed, Endurance, Strength, Vertical Jump, Accuracy, Courage, Balance, Novusport IQ and Popularity.
In order to validate an ActivR and earn points, users must record and upload the video, via their smartphone. The video is proof of their personal completion of the ActivR and a record of the activity. Participants use their own skills to earn these points in a variety of sports regardless of talent or athleticism. There's no need to be an expert at a single sport. All you need is the will to perform to the best of your ability in as many sports as possible. The more ActivR’s you complete, the more awards you can earn in your virtual trophy room. You can share your personalized sports graph and ActivR videos with friends, and even challenge other users online -- worldwide. We put our users in the center of the game. They are the real world players!
What problem does your product or service solve?
Every day around the world, millions of fans stare at a TV, computer, laptop or tablet for hours to watch sports. The rise in these tech-driven but sedentary activities has contributed to the obesity epidemic in adults and children. We will help mesh these interactive fixations to physical, real-world challenges and motivate people to get off the couch and out of the computer chair. Novusport integrates real sports activities and social media. Novusport combines sports with technology in a model that gives incentives to be active, reaching potentially millions around the world regardless of age or gender and bridging the gap between electronic devices and physical sports participation.
What are your startup's three biggest challenges to growth?
Perhaps more importantly, our need to focus on what the product is and what the market for that product is. Capital funding and learning to be patient.
How has the Startup America Partnership helped you overcome these challenges to growth?
We’ve been able to connect to Startup experts through the Virtual Learning Series provided by Startup America. Also, thanks to this wonderful organization, we’ve been invited to be one of 10 finalists to compete in the CEA Eureka Park Challenge to be held in New York at the end of June 2012.
What Startup America Member Benefits have you used?
The offers found on Startup America’s website have been very useful for our company. We purchased discounted images for our website through one of its affiliates and began our AdWords campaign thanks to the special $1,000 for $1,000 Google program for Startup America members.
Why should startups join Startup America?
As a founder, the need to build relationships with like-minded people is paramount to the overall success of a startup company. Through this organization, founders can connect with these individuals that can guide entrepreneurs through their amazing journey.
What is the startup culture like in your City/State?
Houston is an incredibly supportive place to launch a tech startup. Talent is abundant, and we are able to avoid some of the challenges that a startup company might face in a hot spot like the Bay Area, Boston, Silicon Valley or Austin. People don’t retire to Houston.
They come to this dynamic city – the world’s energy capital -- to work for a couple of years and end up staying for 20.
You will find that many perceived downfalls of Houston -- the heat, humidity, and long commutes -- are outweighed by the fact that the spirit of this city is so friendly, helpful and intrinsically entrepreneurial that it's a wonder more people don't consider it a startup hub.
A can-do city, Houston has the world’s largest medical center and placed a man on the moon. It has so much to offer entrepreneurs who are willing to work in a place that's not a trendy tech mecca. We are excited to have the chance to put Houston on the technology and social media map through Novusport.
What else should we highlight about your startup?
We want to bring value to our society by creating an environment where we motivate people to live an active, healthy and positive lifestyle while having fun and connecting worldwide via social media. Our vision is to bring a new, innovative form of sports participation and interaction into the Internet social media spectrum and become THE new sports pastime by fusing new technology with global sports participation.
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