Where did the genesis/idea for your business come from?
It started with swimmers’ parent observing traditional ‘zero-tech’ methods used by swimming coaches. The thought was “we can make that so much better, and so much more efficient”.
One of Australia’s most elite swimming coaches – Ian Pope – was enthused, and came on board as the User/SME. It was soon obvious that some tedious and repetitive parts of the swim coach’s job could be automated. So it was that Ian declared that AutoCoach allowed him to “spend more time focussed on the swimmer and their technique”.
What do you believe sets your business apart from those already in the market?
The technology is wirelessly networked and all devices have inbuilt, rechargeable and long-life batteries. Authentic starting instructions and procedures are spoken / sounded through a portable speaker – all controlled completely by a multi-mode “stopwatch” – as are splits and times. They are also simultaneously displayed on LED screens.
Every coach can now calculate Stroke Rate, Stroke Index, Distance Per Stroke, Velocity. Again uniquely, some key components can be added to create a full Race Meet solution, with many components still being used daily for training.
What’s your key demographic?
Currently swimming coaches and clubs; schools; athletics coaches and clubs. Global fit.
What are people most excited by about your product? What do they like most?
Fully authentic starting system, and starting practice. Improved efficiency and use of the coach’s time. Superior athlete engagement, through more information via multiple mediums. Easier management of interval training and fitness testing. Modular and expandable, from a single “Performance Stopwatch” with multiple advanced modes, to a comprehensive Race Meet management and timing system.
What have you learnt about yourself building your company?
Like most small companies, we very quickly run out of arms and legs. Conversely, the principals have improved confidence, and will very happily stand up in front of a large and/or important audience.
As a business, what have been some of the biggest challenges have faced to date?
General management practices; team and skillset construction and transfer. Being new and disruptive technology, describing and explaining the benefits has typically been quite challenging.
Looking ahead to the next 12 months, what milestones do you wish to reach?
With great acceptance from swimming coaches, we’re now progressing on two fronts – Race Meet systems; and focussed international markets. Within 12 months we expect to be recognised Australia-wide as a go-to option for Race Meet solutions, and have a significant presence in China.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
Primarily through word-of-mouth, many elite coaches and national organisations have purchased and are using AutoCoach – e.g Swimming Australia, British Swimming, Swimming Canada, Swimming Ireland. The technology is IoT capable, and can be adapted to numerous other sports and markets. Potential SME partners and investors are welcome to propose / discuss.
Interested in getting involved with AutoCoach? Contact them via email
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