SBJ/July 25-31, 2016/Franchises

High demand keeps Teamworks working hard

Zach Maurides recently visited a group of NHL executives to pitch them his communications and logistics technology called Teamworks.

The software platform helps large organizations such as sports teams communicate, schedule events and generally stay on the same page. Its clients range from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to more than 800 sports teams.

MAURIDES
Within weeks, 19 NHL teams had reached out to Maurides, the company’s founder, about the Teamworks platform. The small Durham, N.C., business of 30 employees struggled to respond and keep pace.

Keeping up with high demand is a good problem to have, but for Teamworks, it had become a bit overwhelming.

“We bootstrapped this thing as long as we could and took the company a long way on our own,” Maurides said. “We needed to find partners who bought into the way we operate.”

Teamworks revealed last week that it had secured a Series A round of funding from a syndicate of investors — $6.25 million in all. Seaport Capital is being described as the lead investor, along with PagsGroup, Atlanta Ventures, DUMAC (the investment arm of Duke University, Maurides’ alma mater) and Inner Circle Ventures.
Inner Circle Sports, a boutique New York investment bank, advised Teamworks on the process.

Maurides said the money will be used to enhance the communications platform and bolster customer service. He hopes to hire enough people by the end of the year to grow the employee count to 50 to 55, mostly in sales and account services.

While the college space has provided the most growth for Teamworks, Maurides sees a lucrative future in the area of governing bodies as well. The platform costs anywhere from the thousands up to six figures, depending on the client’s needs.

“The more we can polish the system and integrate with other systems that teams might use, the better we’ll be able to help them exchange information in an efficient manner,” Maurides said.

The ex-Duke football player began tinkering with a logistics and communication solution in 2004 for a class project at Duke. A starter at left guard for the Blue Devils’ football team during the 2006 and ’07 seasons, Maurides tailored his classes to prepare him to run this business. He majored in sociology “to focus on how large groups communicate,” he said, and sprinkled in classes on computer science and business.

The business hit stride in the past five years, growing its client base by the hundreds, especially in college. Among the clients are the Big Ten and Mountain West conferences, as well as Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon, USA Baseball and Major League Lacrosse.

Teamworks uses a password-protected website or mobile app to deliver information about team meetings, classes, travel, tutoring, sudden changes in schedule or other pertinent information for large groups.

“Now we’ve got to get ahead of the demand,” Maurides said.

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