Priya Narasimhan, YinzCam
FOUNDER AND CEO
She often found the views watching her beloved Pittsburgh Penguins at the now-demolished Mellon Arena blocked by larger spectators, so she went to work creating a venue-focused mobile solution for providing video replays, statistics, content from other games in progress, and additional programming for game attendees that viewers at home typically take for granted.
The Penguins were an initial client and have since been joined by more than 100 pro teams and college athletic programs. YinzCam now counts the NBA and NFL among its equity holders and has built official mobile applications for major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game and Big East men’s basketball tournament.
“It’s been an incredible ride for something that started simply as a research project for someone who was too short to see,” said Narasimhan, who remains a professor of electrical and computer engineering in addition to her work with YinzCam. “But people have liked us, stuck with us, and continued to believe in us, which is incredibly gratifying, and they have all contributed to our learning and getting better.”
- An attribute I look for when hiring: Work ethic and intellectual curiosity.
- A networking tip I’ve learned: Spend more time in the hallways of conferences than in attending the talks.
- Biggest challenge I face working in sports: Starting with no venture capital, no sports business background and no connections/Rolodex in the industry.
- Best advice I’ve received for career development: If you want something, act like you already have it.
- Woman in sports business I’d most like to meet: Billie Jean King, because she has too many “firsts” to mention, and most of all, because she is a fearless trailblazer who acts with the courage of her convictions.
- Most memorable sporting event attended: 2009 Stanley Cup Final at Mellon Arena (a.k.a. The Igloo), where we piloted YinzCam and made the decision to spin off the company out of Carnegie Mellon University.
- Causes supported: STEM through sports, and inspiring kids to learn math, science and programming through the lens of their favorite sport.