Andre Reznik of CourtMatics
Welcome to Founder Friday, where we learn about the people behind the Highway1 startups.
Today’s founder is Andre Reznik, CEO and founder of CourtMatics.
Tell us a little about your background.
I started in Israel working for a small software company doing all kinds of interesting projects in C++ and Visual C++. I then received an MBA in finance and spent the last ten years with Intel and elsewhere in various operations and finance roles.
Where’d the idea for CourtMatics come from?
I’ve been playing tennis for more than 20 years. I started when I was 13 back in Israel, and met my co-founder Bhanu Pisupati in 2001 playing tennis at Indiana University. The idea was born in 2013 after I moved to the west coast. Wearables had just started to appear, but there was nothing for sports. Bhanu and I stayed in touch and we thought combining the two could make a very useful product.
How did you find out about Highway1?
We had a functioning prototype, but we needed to get to the next step. Highway1 really fit what we were looking for; it’s an accelerator that focuses on hardware startups, which have unique challenges. We felt this would be the place that would most understand our needs.
What’s your biggest surprise or key learning been thus far at Highway1?
One of our key learnings was that we can do quite a bit of concept/market validation with the existing prototype we have today. The Highway1 team looked at us and said: “You have a working product, essentially. You have a few kinks that you’re working out, but players are playing with it. You should validate! Go to tennis lessons, do more.” We were doing that, but to a very minimal degree, mostly to test the technology. But here at Highway1, we were urged to go validate the market and see what kind of feedback we were getting from users. Do they like the data? Would they like it in a different format? I took that feedback to heart. I’ve probably spent more time on the tennis court than at the Highway1 building, and the feedback I’ve received from the players is extremely valuable. I’ve learned what people are paying attention to and what they’d like to see different. As we go through the process of building a mobile app, that helps us a lot.
What are your goals for your time at Highway1?
We are working very hard to finish the prototype and make a product that’s going to be pretty much ready to sell. We want to have a mobile app that’s well designed after we’ve received a good amount of feedback from users. We want to put Bluetooth in the device. And obviously, we’d like to get to the next round of financing, so we can take it to market as quickly as we can.