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Volume 21 No. 1
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Headquarters: Seattle

What they do: Coaches, players and parents in youth soccer leagues use a one-stop dashboard to keep up with practice and game schedules, game sites, registration and social media aspects, including photo and message posts.

Recent moves: Signed Massachusetts-based Global Premier Soccer to use the system for its leagues, clinics, camps and tournaments across eight states. Former U.S. women’s soccer player Kristine Lilly signed on as a company spokeswoman and will also

use the online system at her youth soccer academy. D.C. United agreed to use the platform for all of its academy and camp programs.

What’s next: Later this year, Korrio plans to move into other youth sports, including football, baseball, basketball, lacrosse and hockey. Another future target: adult recreational sports leagues. Expect a Korrio mobile app early next year.

An abrupt departure as CEO of a Seattle data-storage company in 2007 left Steve Goldman pondering his options. His career had always concentrated on technology, but as the father of two sports-minded children, Goldman chose to shift gears.

“I decided to take a little time off and explore how to marry my passion of building tech companies with what I really care about,” he said, “which is kids and sports.”

As a result, in 2009, Goldman launched Korrio, an online, cloud-based youth soccer league system. Leagues pay a fee of $8 per player per year, no matter the size, to connect players, coaches and parents to an online dashboard that includes constant updates of game and practice schedules, driving directions to game and tournament sites, and other details. Registration payments, scheduling, creating teams and social media elements such as sharing photos and messages are also part of the system.

Players, families and coaches pay no fee for the service. Korrio’s revenue depends on signing leagues to pay for the registration system, which then provides entry to the broader service at no additional cost. The leagues sign up for one, two or three years, similar to a wireless phone contract.

Eliminating email trails and simplifying the administration of leagues led to the launch of Korrio. The privately held company has raised $5.8 million from investors, Goldman said. He said the company anticipates becoming profitable within two to three years.

Privately held Korrio includes some heavy hitters in its lineup. Martin Coles, a former executive at Starbucks, Reebok and Nike, and former Microsoft CFO John Connors are investors in the venture.

Goldman points to rapid growth in youth sports — statistics he cites show participation quadrupling in the past 20 years — as the foundation for his company’s growth.

“The average American family is spending a bigger and bigger slice of their free time having something to do with youth sports,” Goldman said. “We wanted to do something that would be impactful to this audience.”

Erik Spanberg writes for the Charlotte Business Journal, an affiliated publication.