Introduction to iJudgeFights! – We will be following them as they go through the SpringBoard Mobile accelerator

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Over the next 3 months on HTWABP, you’ll be able to follow 3 great startups, as we track their progress via video updates as they go through the SpringBoard Mobile accelerator program. Our goal with this is to bring you, almost in real time, the massive highs and lows that startups experience as they progress through an accelerator. SpringBoard Mobile Started in London last week, the programs goal is to cram a years worth of knowledge,  exposure and development into just 3 months. During this time the startups live and breath their company, meet 100′s of advices/mentors and receive a little bit of funding, somewhere around £15,000.

The first of the 3 startups that we will be introducing and then following is iJudgeFights. We managed to catch up with co-founder Scott Morley, yesterday where he introduced us to their company and what they hope to gain from participating in an accelerator program. iJudgeFights is founded by JJ Wakrat, Scott Morley and Jordan Morley, the team was recently joined by Kevin McSweeney. They are a Canadian startup, but a couple of the founders have been living in London for the past 5 years.

What is iJudgeFights all about?

iJudgeFights is a real time round-by-round scoring app for fans of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). We’re a bit of a mix of Twitter and Foursquare for fight fans.

If you don’t know about MMA, you soon will. It’s the fastest growing sport in the world with over 400 million fans world wide. The premier promotion is the Ultimte Fighting Championship (UFC). Just 8 years ago the company was worth a mere $2 Million. Now, on the back of an explosion in popularity and a massive US TV
deal, their value is closer to $3 Billion, putting them on par with Manchester United or the New York Yankees. 

How did you come up with the idea for iJudgeFights?

All of us are huge fans of MMA, and we really wanted to find a way to get involved. As fans, we know that the biggest pain point for MMA enthusiasts is the flawed scoring system. Like boxing, MMA is scored using what is called the “10 must” system. It’s a scoring system that generates a lot of controversy and drives an incredible amount of traffic on Twitter. We wanted to provide a way for fans to have their voices heard and see how their own scores compared to their friends, fans nearby and the official results. We noticed that, while everyone is tweeting their scores (no, really!), there was no mechanism for aggregating those scores and seeing how user’s opinions stacked up against one another.  

What are the top 3 things that you hope to gain from taking iJudgeFights through an acceleration program?

Springboard is actually our second accelerator. This spring we participated in a program called Startup Sauna in Helsinki. It’s designed for uber-early stage startups.  We benefited immensely from their program, but also learned some hard lessons. The most pressing one for us was that we needed to get lean, agile and mobile….fast.  Naturally, Springboard Mobile came up as a great way to pursue those goals. The things that brought us to London are probably what almost every startup is looking for:

  • Improve our strategy to keep our heard-earned users coming back day after day
  • Figure out the technical bottlenecks that may inhibit scalability 
  • Answer the age-old question “How do you monetize?”

As a bonus, it always helps to sit down with people who are smarter and more successful than you.  Springboard gives us access to some of the best minds around and we intend to make the most of that access.

What are you most looking forward to as you join the SpringBoard Mobile accelerator?  

Bouncing ideas off really smart and creative people is probably my favourite aspect of the accelerator experience. I don’t just mean the mentors either. The other teams in our cohort are filled with really talented people and there’s a lot we can learn from them. Also, it’s a great experience if you are averse to sleep :)

We look forward to following their progress via a video diary shortly! In the mean time, you can also follow their progress via their Twitter page.