The University of Iowa College of Engineering has announced that the student business plan for a company named "Spectator" is the winner of its 2014-15 Hubert E. Storer Engineering Student Entrepreneurial Start-up Award.
Spectator (http://www.teamspectator.com/) is an app and website that brings high school sports out of the paper age. It is designed to centralize the fragmented data surrounding high school sports. By centralizing information, athletic directors and booster clubs have an easier way to reach target audiences.
Spectator was co-founded and is managed by Jon Myers, a University of Iowa junior in mechanical engineering and UI engineering alumnus Brandon Kiefer (BSE 2014 electrical engineering with a focus on computer engineering). Kiefer is a technology consulting engineer for Intel.
"This allows boosters clubs to advertise upcoming events, promotions, fundraising campaigns and create a platform to accept donations within the app," Myers said. "Boosters can create a sense of connection with alumni and community, as well as see monetary returns for athletic programs. Spectator makes it easier and more enjoyable than ever for parents, fans, and players to find their teams' information. This includes full schedules, rosters, individual player cards, and even live scoring."
The Spectator team is striving to make the company the nationwide leader in high school sports information, akin to an ESPN Sports for high school athletics. Spectator has been building technology and testing it with high schools from across Iowa. The first prototype of the app provided schedules, rosters, player stats, and live game scores for all 46 class 4A football teams in the state of Iowa.
"Since the 2014 football season, we have improved our product by partnering with a stat keeping app, furthering live scoring automation," Myers added. Now, when coaches are keeping their team statistics on the sidelines, the data is sent live to the Spectator app for immediate viewing.
The annual Storer award, established in 2002 and funded by an endowed gift from the late College of Engineering alumnus Hubert E. "Bud" Storer (BS 1959 industrial engineering), currently provides $7,500 of initial financial support for a College of Engineering student technological business plan. Storer was president, owner, and founder of Storer Equipment Company, Shreveport, LA.
"The students behind 'Spectator' provide a great testament to Bud Storer's vision when he created his award," Alec Scranton, College of Engineering dean, said. "At that time, he could not have imagined the impact that an "app" could have on the creation of a promising new business. It will be fun to see what our future students can imagine as the next decade unfolds."