In January, I reached out to Julian Davidson, a classmate of mine, to chat about his start-up called Ruby. I knew that it was a sports tech / fan engagement platform, but wanted to learn more so I could connect him to my people at Turner Sports and hopefully foster relationships that would be valuable to him and his team.
After walking through the product and vision of the company, I immediately realized that what he was building was in my wheelhouse and something that I would love to be a part of. I asked Julian if they were planning on competing in Booth’s New Venture Challenge (NVC). At the time, Julian and co-founder Ryan Black were on the fence as to whether to compete or not. Luckily, they chose to compete and I was able to join our NVC team.
The New Venture Challenge is one of the biggest, if not the biggest MBA Entrepreneurial competition, and is ranked as one of the top-accelerators programs in the country. Last year’s NVC winner, My Art Cache, took home $730K+ in funding for their company. In total, $1.5M+ was given away to Booth led companies last year. So, we’re not talking about chump change here – we’re talking about money that can stand up a business. And that my friends is very very exciting. And guess what – WE’RE GOING TO THE FINALS!
We’re up next and have been busting our asses for the past 4 months to get here. I could not have imagined being able to put my sports entertainment background and expertise actively to work at Booth, yet here we are! Thus far we have completed a feasibility statement, pitch video, full business plan and two virtual pitches to 20+ judges and our peers. Now, we’re gearing up to close out the 4th quarter and bring this win home.
So what is Ruby? Ruby is a mobile experience that allows fans to get closer to the athletes that they love during live games by leveraging bio-metric data for gameplay. Our mission is to build a second screen ecosystem that engages fans, empowers athletes, and expands brands. To me, Ruby is the next major innovation in fan engagement: less commitment, sports agnostic, betting free. Ruby is the second screen for every sports fan – and we intend to bring it to each and every one of you this football season with our continued contract with the NFL.
I am elated to be on the Ruby Team and to have the opportunity and honor to pitch in the NVC finals as a first year student! While I would love to give you a sneak peek into our business, you can see what we have been building and what you’ll be playing this fall at the finals! Please tune in Thursday June 4th at 9:10am sharp central time to see Julian and I pitch to win NVC!