Editor’s note: Startland selected 12 Kansas City firms to spotlight for its annual Startups to Watch list. The following is one of 2019’s companies. Click here to view the full, ranked list of Startups to Watch.
ShotTracker’s elevator pitch: ShotTracker is a sensor-based technology that tracks statistics and analytics for basketball practice and games in real-time. It’s a small sensor that goes on the player and a small sensor that goes in the ball. We have partnerships with Spaulding, Willson, Under Armour, Adidas, and Nike. There are sensors around the arena — or facility, where we track the location of the player and the ball within two to five centimeters.
Davyeon Ross is an athlete who likes to win, he said of the defining characteristic that has helped him turn his Merriam-based company — ShotTracker — into a startup slam dunk.
Founders: Davyeon Ross and Bruce Ianni
Founding year: 2013
Amount raised to date: $26.5 million
Noteworthy investor: Magic Johnson, David Stern, Brian Howard, Seventy-Six Capital, The L.A. Dodgers, KCRise Fund
Programs completed: Dodgers Accelerator Program
Current employee count: 30
“We have two founders who have already exited startups in the past,” said Ross, co-founder of ShotTracker. “When you look at [our] leadership team and board of advisors, people like David Stern — who was commissioner of the NBA for almost 40 years and is really trying to revolutionize the game of basketball — those are all things that are critical to allow us to be where we are today.”
Such experience, coupled with the hustle instilled in an athlete-minded founding team, has brought ShotTracker from an idea on the bench to a position at center court of the Kansas City startup ecosystem in under 10 years, Ross said in anticipation of a record-breaking year of partnerships, capital raises, and product rollouts for the company.
“We have an amazing group of people and individuals. I think as founders, you want to make sure that those people get a return on the hard work and efforts that they’re putting in,” he said of putting his team first in every business decision made by ShotTracker executives.
Mimicking a layup drill, ShotTracker signed deal after deal with college basketball teams, broadcast networks, and tournaments in 2018, Ross said, recalling the events as momentum buildings moments for the company.
Click here to read more about ShotTracker’s performance in 2018.
“The more success we can have in Kansas City the better,” Ross said of the months and years ahead. “[That’s what] we think about when we think about the process of where we’re going as a company.”