Tag Archives: sports

HAWKS

Hawk Logo_JAJ0561by Mark T. Wayne

“Quit talking business!  This is important!”  A shocking pronouncement coming from one’s employer!  I go mum.  We sit behind thick glass, watching the Chicago Blackhawks clobber the Anaheim Ducks in the final game of the series.  The Hawks will win this game and go on to the coveted Stanley Cup.  That is correct, sir—an opportunity for a third championship in just a few years!

I comply with Jonelis’ rude order.  I do it because I sympathize with his lack of discipline in this arena of violent chaos.  And of course, like most men, I am quite prepared to revive my boyhood when the opportunity arises.  Certainly, there are subjects other than business worthy of utterance.

Mark T Wayne

Lonagan is at my right, constantly jostling, constantly booming, “Did ya see dat?” shouts the execrable fellow.  “He jammed da butt o’ his stick right into dat poor sap’s kisser.”  Permit me to note that Lonagan is able to perform a multitude of tasks simultaneously:

  • He shouts expert opinions about every detail of this free-for-all.
  • He gnaws great hunks from greasy bratwurst.
  • He swills beer from a paper cup with great skill.

I have never before witnessed a hockey game.  I attempt to test its worth with my closest scrutiny, but find it difficult to comprehend my editor’s rationale—dragging me out here to write about six bearded hooligans with faulty dental work beating up six over-muscled goons.  How can I stay abreast of the Chicago private equity action?  Nothing of impact happens in California.  Most of their financiers chase after the same-old, same-old mobile apps.  But I agreed not to talk business.

John thru the glass_JAJ05618B

Against the glass

Jonelis and Lonagan both jump to their feet and beer sloshes onto my fine white flannel suit.  “Goal!” they scream in rough unison, and the stadium erupts in opposing voices of victory and outrage.  Jonelis pounds my shoulder.  “Did you see that?  Did you?  A rebound—that’s the way to score a goal—always crowd the net!”  I am perplexed.  How can he possibly assume that I did not witness the occurrence?  Does the man think I am blind?  We are right here in the front row of the roaring crowd, watching this madness with an entirely unobstructed view!  A gentleman named Toews, who I am told, for some unknown reason, pronounces his name Taves, just flung a small black object into the goal by artful use of a stick.  I saw the act, as did every other bloodthirsty spectator in this crowded coliseum.

Meanwhile, Lonagan gesticulates broadly with both arms, then breaks into impassioned laughter that squeezes out a few tears.  He reaches across me and punches Jonelis square on the shoulder.  “Dis is da best!  First class airfare.  First class box seats!  I kin hardly believe I’m here!  What made ya ask me?”

Jonelis seems momentarily at a loss for words.  He grins sheepishly, then admits in a somewhat lower tone, “You know how to throw a party—I don’t.”  He clears his throat.  “After we win this game, I want to celebrate.  I want to do it right.”

I catch a glint in Lonagan’s eye.  “You want I should pour it on industrial strength?”

A wan smile.  “That’s the general idea.”

“Yer on!”  Lonagan grins like a slathering bulldog.  “What about old whisker-puss here?”

“He’s covering the game.”  Then Jonelis addresses me.  “Get the article out tonight, will you?”

I care not about a drunken felon denigrating the quality of my mustaches, but the second insult inflicts its sting.  My host reduces my status from guest to employee.  Such is the level of respect shown an accomplished novelist.  A writer is without honor, sir!  (I secretly resolve to delay the entire project for several days.  I, too, enjoy the Lonagan fellow’s raucous celebrations.)

Two huge bodies in bulky uniforms slam into the glass inches from my nose with an impact that rattles the structure of the enclosure.

I sit up and take notice.

Pinned, the Hawk reaches under an inadequate face guard and grabs the nose of the angry Duck, who bars his stick against the Hawk’s hairy throat.

A whistle!

With a bleeding nose, the Duck skates to the penalty box.

In the ensuing power play, I note amazingly deceptive and expert stick handling.  Fascinating!  Other members of the team, entirely out of the action of play, perform acts of sadistic menace upon each other’s persons.  These go unnoticed by the officials, otherwise engaged.  As an organ plays magnificent chants, I wonder how thugs learn to skate with such skill.

Toews scores another goal and I am wearing flecks of Lonagan’s mustard.  Only a few minutes have transpired since the splattering of beer—inadequate time to allow my suit to dry.

I stand and cheer!  “Hooray!”

This represents an important lesson!  Yes sir!  How is it that I have never before attended such an event as this?  And I speculate on the odds of bribing a season ticket from some luminary with the only real weapon I own—the promise to not write about him.

Read KIDNAPPED

Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2015 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

.
.

Leave a comment

Filed under angel, angel capital, angel investor, App, big money, Characters, chicago, Chicago Venture Magazine, Chicago Ventures, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Events, Innovation, Innovation and Culture, Internet, Internet Marketing, Invention, investor, loop lonagan, Man's Favorite Sport, Mark T Wayne, Mobile, Mobile App, Mobile Marketing, vc, venture capital

INJURIES TREATED BADLY

Team Interval 7

by John Jonelis

Kids are dropping dead on the athletic field. Dead!  These are our kids—those highly cherished and precocious little brats, grades K-12.  Just a few years back we suffered a miserable year—120 deaths according to the Youth Sports Safety Alliance.  Here’s a huge problem waiting to get fixed.

I recall Coach Bodle from my high school years. “Hey kid,” he’d say, “Scrape yerself off da ground. Yuh got yer bell rung is all.  Shake it off!  Da team needs yuh.  Get back out there and gimme a hunert ‘n’ twenty percent!”  An inspiring speech.  Always got results.  Players knew the alternative.  During my moments of serious academic pursuit, I’d draw Coach Bodle in the margins of my textbook. The result always came out looking like the Frankenstein Monster.  This was a guy whose claim to fame was an ejection due to unnecessary roughness in a semi-pro football game.  But I made allowances for his furious temper.  Had no alternative.  Anyway, I figured the guy got his bell run too many times.

That was a different era. Nowadays coaching is a profession.  They know better.  The liability is huge.  People can go to jail.  Eighty percent of athletic injuries happen at the high school level.  Same old/same old doesn’t cut it and the demand for change rings powerful and loud.

Tonight I get to see Tyrre Burks, founder of Team Interval tell us what he proposes to do about it.

BNC 500

The Field of Play

Last time I saw Burks, he was winning the pitch competition at FFF here in Chicago. He probably deserved that win.  When a social entrepreneur presents his company well, he’s gonna get the nod.

But now we’re in the friendly confines of BNC Venture CapitalTeam Interval 3I don’t know if you ever had the pleasure, but month after month, BNC—short for Business Network Chicago—puts on the best show in town.  That is if you like personal confrontation and plenty of drama like I do.  If you want a chance to rake a budding entrepreneur over the coals.   If you enjoy watching grown men turn beet red with anger in their eagerness to ask probing business questions.  Oh yes, there’s always some smart guy that says, “Wait a sec. Go back three slides.  Where’d you get that number?”

The beauty of the system at BNC is Len Bland’s five magic questions. Answer all five and you’ve probably got a sound business plan.  Dazzling the throngs with pizzazz doesn’t cut it here.  You must address the tough stuff.  That keeps everybody in the room at attention because the crowd gets grilled on some of this too.

FFF 9-17-14 JAJ-2169e200The Q&A can get a bit hot. But tonight, through it all, Tyrre Burks remains poised.  Informed.  Confident.  Pretty much indomitable.  He’s tall, fit, and stands proud.  Somehow, the guy manages to seem humble about it too.  I guess professional sums it up.

And why not? This is a man that knows his business.  Burks played Pro Football—a career plagued with injuries—so he understands this problem on the personal level.  He teaches High School, so he knows the weaknesses in the current system.  I see passion, and passion gets results.  The man is on a mission bigger than himself—Full reporting of childhood sports injuries.  And he seems to know precisely how to make it happen.  As he unpacks his plan, I find myself hoping he’s right.

Team Interval 2

Lousy Records

The way we record injuries just stinks. Most go unreported.  Records are sketchy.  Team Interval 4Many teams don’t even hire trainers. Ambulances get called too late.  Disaster strikes and parents bite their nails waiting for information.

Here we are in the mobile information age, surrounded by advanced medical technology. So what do we do?  That’s right—we drop the ball.  Only 18% of sports injuries get documented at all.  Eighteen percent!  There’s no meaningful data from ages 8-18!  I don’t know about you, but statistics like those get my attention.

Consider it from the coach’s perspective. I think we can agree that nobody wants players dropping dead on the field of play.  Don’t you think a coach wants to know if a kid had five concussions since his Pop Warner days?  Or a heart problem?  You better believe it!  What about college programs?  Do you suppose a recruiter would like to review the childhood injury records for prospective scholarship athletes?  Well, d’ya think?

So how do we get that done?

Right here at BNC, Tyrre Burks is giving us his answer. Trainers will log the injuriesIf there’s no trainer on staff, then the coaches.  Trainers? Coaches?  That takes me by surprise and seems to raise the emotional level of the entire room.  Objections get raised right away.

FFF 9-17-14 JAJ-2168e500

How to Answer Stupid Questions

Bill Blaire once coached football and wrestling—till they politely asked him to leave. When he stands up to ask a question, his bulk blocks half the room.  His deep rumble rattles the light fixtures: “Dem coaches ain’t dumb,” he says with all sincerity.  “And reportin’ injuries is gonna turn out real dumb fer a coach.”   When asked to elaborate, he indicates in so many words that it opens a guy up to liability.

Team Interval 5Turns out, according to Tyrre Burks, the reality is just the opposite. Nobody wants to get sued.  That’s a huge incentive, especially for trainers and coaches today.  It occurs to me that reporting absolutely everything might just be the best CYA maneuver in the business.  And maybe Burks is right.  Given the tools to do it quickly and immediately, a coach will dutifully log every incident, if not for the player’s benefit, at least to protect the old career.

Sheldon Tommygun looks like he’s about to burst a blood vessel and he finally gets called to speak. “An athletic staff,” he says in his incongruously cultured voice, “isn’t qualified to make a medical diagnosis.”

Turns out, when you think about it, any trainer, any coach knows when a player gets his bell rung or hurts a knee. When follow-up is required, the doctor’s diagnosis will appear on the athlete’s and the school’s records. Mission accomplished.  Burks predicts that we’re moving to legislation to mandate this in 48 months.  If that happens, there’ll be a land grab for the data.  And don’t forget the goal—to save over a hundred lives a year.

Janet Case used to teach school and I’ve been after her to write for this journal. “Coaches are disinclined to fill out detailed injury reports,” she says with admirable precision.  “They are overworked and ill-equipped to carry out such a function.  How do you turn an onerous task into an immediate action?”  Yeah—that’s the question on everybody’s mind, but maybe not quite in those words.

Turns out it’s a simple pictorial interface. FFF 9-17-14 JAJ-2178e200All a coach or trainer needs to do is whip out his phone or tablet and highlight an area of the body where the injury occurred, and add a voice memo.  The system instantly alerts all the right people from parents to administrators to ambulance and doctors.  It’s tied to an electronic tracking system that organizes the records and documents.  This is the first universal health record system for athletic injuries.  Coaches can make informed decisions about the status of individual players and the injuries that accumulate in other sports.  Administrators get a birds-eye view of the health of all their athletes and can analyze trends and re-direct policy using the data driven dashboard.  For college programs, it’s like a CarMax report for players. “Later on,” says Burks, “Insurance companies will get involved.”

Loop Lonagan has the floor. “Yer gonna run into all kindsa privacy issues. This bird ain’t never gonna fly.”

But it turns out Burks system is up and running in 16 school systems.  FFF 9-17-14 JAJ-2177e200He’s deep in negotiation with more.  It’s already built with with role permissions that prevent privacy issues.  This thing is moving and moving fast.

Warren D. Mink calls out, “Go back three slides. What’s that number?”  A lot of time gets spent in a group effort at basic arithmetic.  When the argument finally winds down, I’m too confused to know if their sums are correct.

I walk to the front, congratulate Tyrre Burks, trade business cards, and then escape for my train. Later that week I learn Burks landed another huge contract.  Yes, this is moving very fast.

Team Interval 6

Contacts & Credits

TEAM INTERVAL – www.teaminterval.com

TYRRE BURKS – Tyrre@TeamInterval.com

BNC Venture Capital – www.bnchicago.org

FFF – fundingfeedingfrenzy.com

DATA – www.YouthSportsSafetyAlliance.org

PHOTOGRAPHY – John Jonelis, Team Interval

.

Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2014 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

.
.

Leave a comment

Filed under angel, angel capital, angel investor, App, big money, Bill Blaire., BNC, BNC Venture Capital, Characters, chicago, Chicago Ventures, Data, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Events, FFF, Funding Feeding Frenzy, Impact Investing, Innovation, Innovation and Culture, Internet, investor, loop lonagan, Mobile, Mobile App, pitch, Social Entrepreneur, Software, vc, venture capital

MIT WHITEBOARD CHALLENGE

Mark T Wayne BOTTOMJohn Jonelis

From special correspondent – Mark T Wayne

Five minutes, a marker, and a whiteboard. That’s all you get with this jaded crowd of critics, skeptics and swarming humanity.

You’ve come here to bare the greatest idea of your life and all the dreams that go with it. You competed for a chance at this grueling event against near a hundred early-stage teams. You’re one of only ten to make the finals.

Now they give the signal and you start like a runner off the blocks. And when your five minutes are up, it’s “NEXT!” No excuse will answer, sir! You are not permitted to utter another word so you sit down to bite your nails.

I can barely credit how fast ten contenders go by without a break in the action. .

Whiteboard Competitor

The Competition

This is the main event for the MIT Enterprise Forum, Chicago. No tricked out slide show or video allowed here. You must draw while you talk. The whiteboard is blank and indeed frightening to behold.

You swallow your fear and draw stick figures, perhaps, with a fat electronic pen. AnotherMITEF logo device projects your illegible scrawl onto a big video monitor so the WHOLE crowd can watch you make a fool of yourself. And use it you must—oh yes, you can’t ignore the whiteboard. It’s the only tool you get to express your idea, besides flapping your jaw.

I see you fidget and turn pale like some of the other folk as you try to explain your complex technology to a disgruntled audience of frowning faces while under the gun of the timer. Was that a nervous tick I just saw? Control yourself, sir!

Mark T WayneThis ain’t the typical pitch contest. You competed with scores of other teams on the value and marketability of your idea. That means all ten of you show up here tonight with something worthwhile. Now you get judged again on merit, but also on communication and use of the whiteboard.

Why do you do it? It’s not the $3,000 first prize—that only amounts to party money. No, the real goal is exposure. A chance to round up some angel capital from those sitting among this distinguished crowd and maybe push your idea to the next level. That and the simple satisfaction of coming out on top.

MITEF Chicago has been putting on this competition for some time. I consider it a premier event. To give you the flavor of it, here is a wonderful short video created in a previous season:

.

This Year’s Winners

SIRAGO— Deniz Alpay—First Place

MIT White Board ChallengeUnfortunate patients are going straight from Stage 1 to Stage 4 cancer right in the hospital as a direct result of an innocuous and ubiquitous procedure called the biopsy. The problem is rampant in some cancers.

Gentlemen take note: If the oncologist suspects testicular cancer, no biopsy will be done. No sir! The surgeon removes the offending testicles forthwith! This is execrable sir! I wince to hear such words!

Breast cancer is yet another prevalent victim to this culprit. But whatever the cancer, it happens in three ways:

  • When removing the biopsy needle, infected tissue gets dragged away from the site.
  • Sometimes infection spreads through the hole left by the needle.
  • At other times, the infection enters the bloodstream directly because of the needle wound.

Ugh! Horrible stuff! Ought not to be allowed! Could it be that a patient stands a chance of living longer without any test whatsoever?

Mark T Wayne

Pay close attention because the numbers do not favor you. 12.5 million Americans have cancer right now—and that’s expected to rise dramatically. During the span of a lifetime we are talking about one in every two men—one in every three women. I look around the room and wonder—does any man here still have the stones to remedy this injustice?

The young lady draws a clear picture on the whiteboard and presents a solution. It is a hollow needle. An agent is pumped into the needle to plug the opening. Then the biopsy needle follows. When the biopsy is extracted, any unwanted tissue cannot pass the plug.

Mark T WayneI let out a lungful of air. Whew! Such a simple solution. And having seen it described so well, there is no doubt in my mind that it will turn the trick. Something so easily incorporated into existing procedures will likely be widely adopted. In fact, hospitals already exhibit interest.

This young lady is articulate with an excellent command of the white board. I believe she well deserves her First Place finish. I vote for this one myself.

Later while writing my notes, it occurs to me to research the name Sirago. I find some USS Siragointeresting imagery here and wonder if it is intentional. Sirago is the namesake of a 1946 WWII American attack submarine that destroyed two German submarines. This is a boat that survived two major surgeries. It was modernized in 1949 and again in 1962, after which it continued operations until 1972—a good long life for a weapon of war. I see it lancing through the waves in triumph.  I let you draw your own mental image.

Sirago Check 2

.

COUP $ITY— David Hazan—Second Place (It’s pronounce it “koop city.”)

This is a free mobile game concept where players generate coupons that increase in value based on game play. You must play the game to earn the reward. That is significant!

I am known to play a game of Whist or Poker. I imagine myself, ordinarily reluctant to Mark T Waynefool with coupons, now proudly presenting my prized ticket to the cashier with a flourish and a knowing smile. The coupon displays right on my smartphone and I keep that contraption in the pocket of my white vest.

There can be no doubt that a market exists. The Mobile App industry has grown from zero in 2007 to 25 billion today and game-based advertising is popular.

David came with his own enthusiastic cheering section, which never hurts.

..

TRIBAL SCIENCE—Mike Vasquez—Third Place

Dr Mike VasquezThis PhD is an engineer as well as a sports nut. He calls the device a Rip Chip. It answers questions such as: “How fast? How high? How many revolutions?”

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that you’re one of that peculiar brand of Tribal Sciencelunatic that lifts weights, hurdles down icy ski slopes, or performs tricks on a snowboard or skateboard. Now you can read precise statistics fed right to your smartphone. Why would you want to do that? It turns out there are a number of rational reasons:

  • You can improve your performance.
  • You can quantify what you did and compare it to other lunatics.
  • You can hold yourself accountable to another person—preferably your psychiatrist or surgeon.
  • You can directly compete with like-minded individuals in far-away places who also have Rip Chips installed on their devices of doom.

I have to admit, this may change the way athletes compete, play, share, and train. We are looking here at 50 million potential users. .

.

EATERIA— Ola Ayeni—The Mark T Wayne Business Award

EateriaAll but one of the ten offerings have yet to go beyond the IDEA stage and form a REAL business. Therefore it is my duty to offer my own award. I hearby select Eateria, a company that helps restaurants induce people to come back and eat more food at their particular establishment. And they do it without weapons! Look at this ultra-professional video:

You will find six more videos posted on the Eateria website. They leave no doubt how Eateria Logothis offering works.

And they’re already generating press.

..

GO TO – THE BEST CHALLENGE YET

.

Notes & Links

Judges – This is an intimidating bunch if I ever saw one:

Jed AbernethyJed Abernethy

Big Idea Forum

.

David BrownDavid Brown

Ungeretti & Harris LLP

..

Moises GoldmanMoises Goldman PhD

M&J Acquisitions Moises6@comcast.net

.

Steve SmithSteve Smith

Global Strategy Implementation

(He flew in from Amsterdam for the event.)

The Nameless RabbleThe Nameless Rabble

Yes, the audience votes too.

.

Nancy MunroMODERATOR – Nancy Munro of KnowledgeShift pulls off this event with her usual aplomb. She’s the Chapter President of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Chicago. And it ain’t at all boring for this old man to watch her erase the whiteboard ten times, either.

LOCATION – This is taking place at a hotbed of innovation, TechNexus, the home of the Illionois Technology Forum. The law firm of Ungaretti & Harris is also a sponsor.  Quartet IdeaShare makes the slick infrared and ultrasound whiteboard display tool that’s helping with all this suffering tonight.

MIT Enterprise Forum

THE TOP TEN COMBATANTS in alphabetical order:

The USS Sirago (SS-485) attack submarine from Wikipedia.

Photography Courtesy of: MITEF Chicago, Steve Smith, Moises Goldman, David Brown, Jed Abernethy, Nancy Munro, Mike Vasquez, Eateria, Wikipedia.

.

GO TO – THE BEST CHALLENGE YET

..

Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money. .Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved . .

4 Comments

Filed under angel, angel capital, angel investor, App, big money, Characters, chicago, Chicago Venture Magazine, Chicago Ventures, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Events, Internet, Internet Marketing, Invention, investor, Mark T Wayne, MIT, MIT Enterprise Forum, MITEF, Mobile, Mobile App, Mobile Marketing, pitch, Software