LAWRENCE — STATSdraft, a Lawrence-based tech startup launched in March of 2023, has been selected to participated in a Kansas City startup event, Pure Pitch Rally. The event, which will be held Monday, Oct. 23, 2023 at Burns & McDonnell Global Headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., provides eight businesses with funding while exposing them to other Kansas City-based entrepreneurs.
Pure Pitch Rally is based on the TV show “Shark Tank,” but each of these startups will pitch to 100 “land sharks” — a name that speaks to Kansas City’s middle-of-the-map location — who will donate $1,000 each to the pitcher they choose. An additional People’s Choice cash prize will go to one startup, chosen by local high school entrepreneurs. Tech businesses were required to apply for the invitation-only event as Pure Pitch Rally organizers look to support big ideas from Kansas City startups.
The concept for STATSdraft was developed by Topher Enneking, a former KU football offensive lineman, to help his friends better understand the types of teamwork that creates a winning culture for football. Enneking beta tested the game with friends for two years before one of STATSdraft’s co-founders suggested he turn it into an app. Shortly afterwards, he pitched the concept at the first Douglas County CORE Pitch Competition held Friday, April 21. It was there STATSdraft earned its first funding.
Since that first pitch competition, STATSdraft has been developed into a sports gaming app that uses analytics to help users deepen their understanding of and relationship with sports. One out of every 4 Americans ages 18 to 45 play season-long fantasy sports with their friends. Yet when the games really matter—during the playoffs—the fantasy games end and these audiences lose the game they love playing. STATSdraft allows them to continue the experience they love by drafting data instead of players. The app has been launched on Google Play and is waiting for approval through the Apple Store. When players join, they can challenge their friends to compete using data from current NFL and NCAA football games. In addition to Enneking, the STATSdraft business is being developed by CTO Dustin Brown and CMO Melody Alexander.
“We’re excited about the opportunities Pure Pitch Rally has brought to entrepreneurs like us year after year,” said CMO and co-founder, Melody Alexander. “Our hope is that this event will help us get our foot in the door and help us start to scale this business. After all, we’re in one of the most sports-centric regions of the world. We look forward to continuing to show the world that Kansas City and Lawrence have great things happening.”