Raymonn Adams has shown the lengths he will go to achieve his football dreams. The former NAIA All America running back has played for teams as far-ranging as Doane College in Crete, Neb., to Calgary to New York and back again as running backs coach for his alma mater.
But when it came time to perfect and launch Lockr, his coaching management software company, he didn’t have to look very far to find investors with the same passion for success as he did. At the end of last year, we invested $200,000 in Adams’ vision. Minneapolis’ Confluence Capital added $50,000 to the deal and gave his team even more runway.
We recognize that the greatest founders are those that experienced the problem they aim to solve firsthand.
In Adams’ case, the problem was the antiquated system most coaches use for planning, evaluating and sharing coaching information be it across the table at a staff meeting or across the country with a colleague. When a fellow coach in California asked Adams for a copy of a kick return play, he found the manual process of trying to pull all the relevant information together tedious and frustrating.
“That was just one play,” he said. “It was so tedious, I still haven’t sent the play to this day.”
What he did do was set out to build a better system to organize, measure, and collaborate – and Lockr was born. The sports coaching platform takes what is a notoriously paper-intensive profession and provides a simple means for consolidating plays, drills and other materials at a coach’s fingertips for immediate reference or to share with others.
The system also distinguishes itself by providing a means for coaches to easily evaluate the effectiveness of their practices by tracking and comparing game stats to the mix of drills to help identify how practice time can best be utilized. Finally, it provides a video function that allows videos to be uploaded or accessed from other sources to assist in coaching technique and effectiveness.
Such features help alleviate some of the frustrations Adams experienced during seven years coaching in the college ranks, specifically, inefficient practices and lack of measurable results. Based on how LOCKR is catching on – the University of Nebraska, University of Oregon and NFL’s Oakland Raiders are among early adopters – he’s not alone.
“Sports is becoming more technology-driven, yet practice preparation for the individual coach hasn’t caught up,” he said, noting in addition to the software product, the company also creates connections within the coaching community via social media. “Lockr allows coaches to connect with each other, manage drills and measure practice planning against game stats to find areas to work on. All you do is drag and drop to setup practice.”
Our investment not only helped generate momentum for his company, it’s also given him the opportunity for product refinement and to hire talent, something Raymonn sees on the immediate horizon.