Smartsport makes its mark at the battle of startups

  • startup crash test


Startup Crash Test is an international project created to allow the authors of interesting progressive ideas to attract investment, figure out the strengths and weaknesses of their business and evaluate potential rivals.

The project has been running for the past 2.5 years and regularly challenges young entrepreneurs. One of the events was held with the involvement of Smartsport.сom. The founders Ilya Popov and Artem Nefedov talked about their work in progress and large-scale plans for the future. The company’s top management successfully coped with all the questions that poured from the engaged audience.

Following the presentation, that took place on April 12, 2017, Smartsport’s PR Manager, Uliana Komanova, talked with Demyan Om – the financial sponsor of the project in Dnipro and one of the jury members. Mr. Om shared his impression of the startup.

Smartsport.сom:
How do you estimate the relevance and benefits of the project?

Demyan Om:
The answer is already hidden in the question. The project is definitely relevant, what was noticed by all participants and the experts in the hall. Smartsport was one of the most powerful ideas in the crash-test format in general and on this session in particular. This is actually natural for every project that goes to the next round. In fact, the market itself proves the essence of the project- it is bought, paid for, it is run by experts. The relevance of Smartsport.com was evident even before the guys took to the stage. Their performance was one of the brightest, and the huge team support added some fun.

Smartsport.сom:
Despite the fact that the project is relevant, it is quite young. What do you think the team still needs to work on? What are the weaknesses?

Demyan Om:
I was concerned about the competitive analysis and asked this question during the presentation. It is important to understand if the company is taking into consideration indirect competitors and the related risks. The market's capacity is clear – it looks huge, however, at the same time the market is quite well developed.

Smartsport.сom:
This idea of optimization is rather innovative. Having analyzed the global market we didn’t find any other project, that encompasses everything.

Demyan Om:
I agree. But you know, as always, if nobody has brought the idea to life before you, it can only mean one of two things: either it was either missed by some very important competitor staff, or the market simply doesn't need it. Whatever happens, we can’t predict it yet. The project is young for sure, it doesn’t yet have a five-year history so we could say: "Yes, the market needs it." Could be that now it is all about enthusiasm as it is something new. I have seen such projects many times, the Ukrainian ones foremost. It happens that the guys keep going encouraged by fun and for the first year or two and the media supports exactly this fun. What is going to be important is to keep the project in the market eye, constantly trying to raise it to a whole new level.

Smartsport.сom:
As a member of the Crash Test jury, you must have seen a lot of projects. In your opinion, what does a startup with an original idea need to become successful?

Demyan Om:
A bunch of secret ingredients, which can’t be guessed in advance. The concern of the founders and marketing department is to predict what the future will be like and to stay ahead of the curve constantly. They always have to see what the market demands are and whether their business will be able to give it. However, the market’s behavior is so unpredictable at times that, it makes no difference how many steps are noted in the analysis, we need to instantly react to changes. So one more essential funders’ and marketing team's skill is change management, which is about noticing changes and managing them. It is necessary to move forward very quickly in response to the market reaction, in case tomorrow there will appear another ecommerce sport training website, or rather, if it already exists, it floods the market. I have seen it on another crash test.

Smartsport.сom:
In other words, you've already seen some similar projects, haven’t you?

Demyan Om:
Yes, I have seen many projects, some of them were connected with e-sport, which, in my deep conviction, is not related to sport in general, but still called so.

Smartsport.com:
What are the advantages of the Smartsport.com project?

Demyan Om:
It’s the team. This project has the team and the energy. Moreover, the founders are engaged in sports, which is important. Probably it's even above all the rest because they are into this project primarily for themselves, and the matter of if it’s necessary for the market or not is a secondary one. It’s precious when business is in the background of the idea.

Smartsport.com:
When you meet the idea of a new start-up for the first time, can you predict what is waiting on it in future? What is the destiny of Smartsport.com do you think?

Demyan Om:
At first, I always try to estimate the physical health of the team. In the case of Smartsport it is a total hit. The team, consisting of physically strong, healthy and active people is a guarantee that a project is going to cope with stress conditions and long-term plans. A strong team will be able to unite the staff around them and attract some strong customers.

The second is business forethought. It is important to know how useful and socially-oriented the project is even if it is free. In a case where it is beneficial and the audience is capable of paying, then a project has a chance to get a hold in the market for a while, until it is time to come up with some new tricks.

Last but not the least is education. It’s about how intelligent the business developers and marketing experts are, whether they are able to manage changes, risks, and reputation. Staff management is essential. It’s a key element if the team is able to manage the staff after the product has been purchased.

Smartsport.сom:
Having venture capital and dealing with investment funds, would you consider investing in a project like Smartsport.com?

Demyan Om:
I have already looked into this project, however, we decided not to invest anything except an expert evaluation and monitoring until 2019. Furthermore, cash investments are not as important as the educational ones along with the partnerships.

Smartsport.сom:
What would you suggest to Smartsport.com to stay afloat?

Demyan Om:
To continue investing in the formation of the team. There is a huge expertise of both the founders and the team behind design thinking. There is the need to deal with user experience, change management and to react to market alteration. It looks like a horizontal control system prevails in the company right now, but if the team starts growing, there may be some hierarchy issues.

About the company:

Smartsport.com is a young start-up with an innovative idea and global plans. The Smartsport.com project is a convenient booking service for sports facilities and accommodation, which unites the entire sports world on one CRM platform. The mission of the system is to provide quick and easy access to sports facilities around the world, which is successfully being performed by the company. At the moment, the project already has about 600 facilities in more than 30 countries all over the world and this number is growing every day.


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