Scott Selm knows a thing or two about sports, having grown up playing travel ball and continuing on the baseball field through college. He knew his team needed to recruit some talent—not pitching or batting, but application development.
An accountant by trade, the Fishers, Indiana, resident is still at home on the ball diamond, but now in the role of a dad trying to find the right opportunities for his daughters. In this age of social media, he saw a need for a network that could bring together coaches, players, their parents and instructors.
“I found problems with obtaining information efficiently and effectively, which spurred the idea of a need to solve that problem,” he says. “Other contacts—players, coaches, parents and such—confirmed that.”
Selm’s idea was to develop an app allowing those interested in youth sports to create profiles outlining their experiences and talents, a sports résumé of sorts. “In a nutshell, I like to describe it as LinkedIn meets Cars.com for baseball and softball.” Cars.com returns vehicle options after users specify the make, model and year they’re seeking. In the case of the app Selm was envisioning, it’s a matter of typing in age, sports class and location.
“Within a few clicks you can obtain the info you are searching for,” he says. “You can search for other players, teams, instructors, tryouts, instructor lessons, camps, teams that need substitutes, players available to sub, scrimmages and roster openings.”
Of course, lots of people these days think, “there ought to be an app for that,” but few have the drive to make it happen. “I decided to make that idea a reality,” he says. The question was, how? Selm knew he needed to recruit a team of his own.
“I spoke to about four options,” he says, including companies tapping into overseas software development talent. “Dan Meier, my uncle, introduced me to Rose-Hulman Ventures. He worked on the first project with Rose-Hulman Ventures as a client and is still actively involved with them. After thinking through the process, I confirmed that was the right choice. I felt very comfortable with the experience they had and what they could offer.”
The Rose-Hulman Ventures team listened to his ideas and came back with an app prototype. “They developed it and I was very pleased with what they did from start to finish,” Selm says. The app launched in May 2022 under the name Kite Sportz.
Why Kite Sportz? Selm sees kites as a metaphor for athletes and coaches. Each kite offers a different flying experience, and each player brings something different to a team. Each kite needs certain weather conditions to fly, each player needs an ideal team environment and coach to soar.
The user base of the Kite Sportz app is players ages 6 through college, along with coaches and instructors. Social media helps to get the word out, and while the app is free, Selm envisions developing a revenue stream through advertising opportunities and premium features.
“Currently I am working with Rose-Hulman Ventures on rolling out some additional new features that will make the user experience even more positive, to increase the usage on a daily basis for all users,” he says. Among the latest features added have been in-app messaging and the ability to upload video highlights. Kite Sportz has focused initially on baseball and softball as it continues to develop its capabilities, but the plan is to add more sports in the future.
Selm says he couldn’t be more pleased with the Rose-Hulman Ventures product development experience, and said it was clear from the start that he found the right players for his team. “We hit it off. It felt like the sincerity was there and we had similar goals to make it a success. It felt like more of a hands-on partnership, and it played out to be just like that.”
He appreciates the model that gives student interns an opportunity to get involved directly with real-world business opportunities. “They’re all very bright students, and I got the chance to work with many of them.”