Posted by Startup Kentucky, Dec 7th
Crowded is a free mobile application that uses live interactive play prediction and trivia at baseball games to test the knowledge of fans in the stadium. Players compete for accolades and are offered prizes for top scores, which will be tied into stadium concessions and other prizes.
What inspired you to start your company?
Baseball is fun to watch as a kid, but it loses its entertainment value as you get older. In fact, fans are so desperate for engagement that many of them come up with games to play in the stands to pass the time between plays. This lack of engagement is what inspired us to build something awesome.
Crowded is the mobile version of a game everyone plays with their friends. The goal is to try to predict what will happen next on the field. Using a simple interface, fans can dial in their prediction and then they become focused on the field to see what will happen. If your prediction is correct, not only do you get bragging rights, but you get points. This spirit of competition is the difference between the baseball we watched as kids, and the games we’re watching today.
What problem does your product or service solve?
Crowded solved two problems for the baseball industry.
1) Baseball is boring. Roughly 50% of a baseball game is idle time. This accounts for inning changes, batting changes, etc. Crowded entertains fans during this downtime and builds anticipation for the plays ahead.
2) Turning spectators into fans. Many stadiums resort to gimmicks to attract and entertain the public. Watching the kiss cam and mascots who run the bases contributes to the ballpark experience, but does very little to create fans. To be sustainable, stadiums must find a way to turn the spectators into fans. Crowded teaches the fundamentals of baseball and also allows fans to learn more about the players as well. Before long, they’ll be rooting for their favorite player and returning to the park again and again.
What are the three biggest challenges you face right now as a startup?
1. Scheduling development to meet the deadlines set by the baseball season.
2. Navigating the hierarchy of the baseball industry while quickly testing business models.
3. Raising funds to pay for the data required to build Crowded.
What do you like most about having your startup located in Kentucky?
It’s hard to describe the feeling of being a part of the Lexington startup community – it’s electric. Compared to larger cities, it is still in its infancy, but this gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to shape it into something amazing. The growth of the network is deliberate and exponential. I love going to the startup coffee clubs, pitch competitions, and Startup Weekends knowing that I’m directly contributing to the future of Kentucky’s startup community.
*Pictures courtesy of Crowded