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CLAPP Competition 2019

Hey y’all,

I just finished competing in the CLAPP Idea Competition through the IU Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship. Things didn’t go exactly as planned, and while I had hoped to win it all, I was eliminated in the first round of pitches.

When I decided I wanted to be an “entrepreneur”, I chose this path, whether I knew it or not. This isn’t the first time I’ve been told no, and it won’t be the last. However, losing today has inspired me to take the company in a slightly new direction. Right now, we’ve got a good thing going. You can’t get the kind of advanced stats that we offer from anyone else without paying double what you have to pay us. I did that intentionally. It isn’t because I don’t like large margins. It is because I think I’m realizing that this business is all about the network effect, and I’m not sure other’s have realized that.

I’m still offering the same service(s) as before, but I’m going to start building off what I have.

Stats for teams is just where it starts. It’s the base platform. I have to get it exactly right, then I can run from their. This Summer that is what I am going to do.

No matter what, I’m going to continue to be who I am, an underdog. I’ve got no business partner, existing software that needs work, and not much in the bank. But I’m not looking for excuses, I’m looking for my edge. And I might be close to finding it.

Take care,

Hunter

Blueprint Stats Corporate News 3/31/19

Hey everybody!

We just wrapped up our first season as Blueprint Stats, and we are very happy with how things went, and hope all of our coaches are as well. This offseason, we are only going to get stronger, smarter, and more impactful for your teams.

However, due to some personal matters, my brother and business partner Blake is stepping away from the business effective immediately. While this isn’t how either of us wanted things to be, I believe that Blake is making the best decision for himself and his future, and that the work he has already put into this company will continue to be a crucial part of its success. We truly could not have done this without Blake, and if you need any proof of that, read here.

I want to assure all of our coaches, players, and statisticians that we aren’t going anywhere. We’re just scratching the surface on what we can do to make the game of basketball better, using data.

Blake sent me a resignation letter and I hope you’ll give it a read. Here it is:

Effective immediately, I will be stepping down as the President of Internal Operations with Blueprint Stats.

The foundation of this company was my desire to stay connected with my hometown and to be closer to basketball, which has been one of my favorite pastimes for as long as I can remember. I volunteered to take stats for my alma mater’s boys basketball team my freshman year of college, and by my junior year, had added the girls team as well. This allowed me to watch every game in which my cousin and brother played and my dad coached. It also allowed me to keep and report official records of games. As someone who self-identifies as being obsessive-compulsive, this record keeping was oddly satisfying.

In 2017, my brother Hunter and I decided to form Kynect Sports, a company designed to give small schools a resource for video and game statistics. We knew firsthand as students at one of Kentucky’s smallest public high schools that there was a need for an affordable service like this, and so we sprang into action. We spent the first summer doing the email equivalent of cold calling coaches in the state, just begging for a moment of their attention. We went into that first season with four clients, two of which were the boys and girls teams at our home school, and we were off. We statted 114 basketball games that season, most of which were performed by me. We took stats the old-fashioned way, making tallies with pencil and paper. We were, by any objective measure, a mom-and-pop stats shop. The accomplishment I might be most proud of is that all four of our clients from Year 1 stayed with us into Year 2. Of course, it was a small sample size, but it was indicative that we had done something right.

By the next summer, we had rebranded ourselves, built an appealing website, and modernized our process. I developed a spreadsheet tool that expedited the stat-taking process, while Hunter aggressively grew the business. We had phone calls and email threads with over 20 coaches and ultimately hauled in six new teams, meaning we had grown the client base of the business by 250%. We had recruited a diverse group of teams, stretching to parts of the state of which I was previously unfamiliar; this gave us an even mix of boys and girls teams. The thing that united these schools was that they had seen the potential in us to provide them with a great, affordable service.

Blueprint Stats has momentum. I do not believe that this company has maximized its potential in Kentucky, and it is a model that is translatable to the other 49 states as well. This company has the technology and personnel to continue to enrich basketball programs across the nation. While I wish that I could continue to be a part of its narrative, I unfortunately cannot.

In tandem with running this company with Hunter, I have been performing research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, taking doctoral level courses at the University of Tennessee, and serving as a teaching assistant for a course at the university, among other commitments. The seven day work weeks I have been subjecting myself to over the past two years have caused me to feel that I am burning my candle at both ends. I feel that I am not able to dedicate all of my soul and energy to what I am working on, and this is not fair to Blueprint Stats as it moves forward.

I am only 23 years old, but the decisions that I make today will influence the rest of my life. I have reached a crossroads in my life where it is time for me to commit to the path that will provide me and my future family with the best opportunity to thrive and prosper. Blueprint is a project that encompasses so many things in life that I love: sports, teamwork, community, and technology, to name a few. It has been a tough decision to walk away from a project that has brought me so much joy and pride, but I know that this is what is right for me and the company.

I want to thank all of our client teams. Without your faith in us, I would have never been able to have the fun that I did these two years. To our stat team that I hired, which mostly consisted of undergraduates from the University of Tennessee with a few close friends and family members, your devotion to this company has been unmatchable and has made these two years substantially easier on myself than they would have been without you. To my other friends and family that were supportive, I appreciate your willing ear to hear all of my hopes and dreams about what I was going to do for the schools of Kentucky. To my girlfriend Madeline, I am so thankful for your patience and love as I frequently had to shift plans in order to fulfill my obligations with Blueprint.

Finally, to my brother and one of my best friends, Hunter, I am forever indebted to you for having given me this experience. While I have the passion and knowledge to create something like Blueprint, it is your savviness and creativity that has caused Blueprint to truly shine. There is no one else that I have met in 23 years of living that could have brought this company to life in the way that you have. You are so undeniably talented and I would trust no one else with the keys to this company that we have built from the ground up. I love you, man.

 

– Blake Hawley

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at hunter@blueprintstats.com. While I’m sad to see my brother step away, I am as excited as could be for what is next.

Thanks,

Hunter

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