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This article was published on March 27, 2008

Sportme: connecting online to sport together off line

Sportme: connecting online to sport together off line
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Five Questions for Start-upsEvery week we publish an interview with a start-up. We ask five questions, hoping the answers will give you inspiration and new views. Well, actually six questions, since we also ask the start-up to who he or she is passing the mic to.

As I’ve promised you last week, I will interview the start-ups who participated in the start-up rally of PLUGG 2008. This time I’m interviewing Dani Warshager from sportme. As you might have guessed by the name, this is an online sports community. It’s all aimed at connecting sportsmen and women to connect and practice in the off line world.

How did you come up with the idea of sportme?

Question number“The history of sportme started with a couple of friends who wanted to arrange a meet-up to play sports. As usual the annoying and time consuming phone call chain began. It became even more irritating when half of the friends decided not to show up and stayed at home. Since this incident the birth of sportme and the idea of simplifying the process of sports meet-ups began. Eventually the original idea evolved in to a real vision, which was to connect sports people through a universal online sports community. A portal specifically built for athletes, teams and clubs of all sports to promote, network and represent themselves in the sports world. sportme offers its members a true advantage not only on the sports field but also in everyday life as it doesn‘t matter if you are a leisure athlete or club; university team or professional club, sportme will always fulfill your sports organization and communication needs.

What was your biggest challenge during the development process?

Question number“Building a community is an ongoing adventure and we need to continuously modify it in order to meet the needs and desires of sportme users. Our biggest challenge was getting the platform up and running as quick as possible without providing our existing competitors too much playing time in the open market. As with all programming and design they are always constant changes and you need to get your platform live and running as quick as possible and work out the minor details along the way. But always be prepared to act and react to unknown situations very quickly.”

Can you describe the German start-up culture compared to Silicon Valley?

Question number“sportme targets the German and UK markets. Our head office is based in Berlin, Germany. We don’t need our office in Silicon Valley as we are not yet targeting these users rather in order to best understand your users and the market it is important to have your headquarters located as close to your target audience as possible. This will assist your company to learn the norms and behaviours of your users and provide some good insight as to how to adapt your product and/or service to meet the local needs. The web 2.0 industry in Germany is mainly situated in Berlin similar to the US where the industry is located in Silicon Valley. The majority of the German investors, internet-based companies and programmers/web designers are operating out of Berlin, which has made the city known as the hub for web 2.0. Berlin provides another advantage to companies headquartered there with its cost efficient office space that makes the price per square meter less expensive than in other German cities.”

What will be the influence of your start-up on the next web?

Question number“The combination of sports and technology is fairly new, however, together it provides a true benefit, on and offline. Sports are a part of the daily lives of millions of people and with the introduction of technology (sportme) it enhances the users experience and sports lives. With sportme users can easily organize and coordinate their sports lives and communicate with their teammates, coaches and fans. Like business people and students, athletes also need to present themselves online and share their experiences and achievements with others and sportme fulfills this niche.”

You can make up this question yourself!

Question numberWhat is your mantra?

“You can not succeed until you try so try until you succeed!

Embed these words in your mind as they will motivate you till the day you are successful.”

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