Founder of SkillShark, engineer, and sports coach, Neil Anderson, is taking athlete evaluations to the next level.

Over six years ago, Anderson saw the difficulties that kids and youth sports league coaches, including himself, experience when manually evaluating (a.k.a. using pen & paper) their players. It was extremely time-consuming and frequently caused inaccuracies in scoring and ranking. In addition, Anderson explains, “I noticed that several hours were spent transferring that information into spreadsheets to make sense of it, and afterwards, there was still no way to get the information back to the athletes or their parents.”

With the goal of optimizing these processes, SkillShark was born. The app/software scores athletes directly from a device (smartphone phone, laptop, or tablet) and leverages data to make informed coaching decisions. It now has automatic developmental resources assigned to players for academies and sports teams, while also allowing athletes to assess themselves and provide information back to their coaches.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic brought global sports events to a halt and SkillShark had to pause its operations, Anderson was determined to push through the challenges by using that time to continue forging relationships and establish contracts.

“Like many leaders of sports organizations, I was able to pause and think of what we can do if we want to survive the disruptions caused by the pandemic,” Anderson shares. SkillShark now has contracts with the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), the largest multi-sport athletic organization in the world, as well as the Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) specializing in college sports recruitment and scholarships. SkillShark also has national contracts with organizations like Water Polo Canada and others soon to be announced!

One of the initiatives that SkillShark participated in was the Innovation Saskatchewan Made in Saskatchewan Technology (MIST) program, enabling the organization to work with and build a collaborative relationship with the Government of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Highways & Infrastructure and the Public Service Commission, assisting in the government’s Management and Executive Talent Inventory process.

While focusing on the sports industry, Anderson adds, “The MIST program made us aware of new applications for our evaluation software, which spotlighted its transferability and usefulness in other areas,” making SkillShark a much more competitive company.

“We also want to give a shoutout to Co.Labs, Innovation Place, and Innovation Saskatchewan initiatives like the Saskatchewan Technology Startup Incentive (STSI) as it offers a 45% tax credit to investors. We are in the middle of closing our Seed Round, and the STSI makes it much easier to attract local investors,” Anderson continues.

Raising capital and strengthening partnerships with many large organizations within the sports industry, SkillShark is determined to continue revolutionizing athlete assessments and reporting for almost any sport imaginable! Anderson was recently at the National State Directors Conference in Orlando, Florida, rolling out the USSSA partnership to over a hundred State Directors and discussing SkillShark’s value proposition.

The one piece of advice that Anderson could give to new tech companies looking to join the ecosystem is to “Surround yourself with passionate, positive, and intelligent people to help you in your journey, and be open to listening to different advice or perspectives along the way. From there, choose what you think is the best path forward.”


Other Info

Founder: Neil Anderson

Employees: 10

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