[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]By Logan Rader / NM News Port
An Albuquerque startup is helping sports fans keep tallies on local games.
ScoreStik makes a digital scoreboard system that’s in use around the Duke City. The system uses an app to control large video screens or projectors, displaying scores at sporting events.
Company co-founder Gordon Klein said growing up around sports helped spark his interest in the project.
“I’ve always been attracted to these high potential, high risk projects.” Klein said
Sports and business are entwined in Klein’s past. He was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, where, he says, he was a very active kid. He attended a small private high school where he played cross country, basketball, lacrosse, and baseball.
During high school, Klein started his own construction company — doing work such as roofing and decking. This business, according to Klein, is how he paid his way through college.
For college, Klein remained in Pennsylvania, attending Bucknell University — earning an undergraduate degree and a masters degree in mechanical engineering.
“My masters thesis was a big risk project, so much that if I didn’t make the thing work, I wasn’t going to be able to complete my thesis.”
“I made it work and I did it.”
In 2001, Klein moved from Philadelphia to New Mexico for his wife works in the medical profession. It was in Albuquerque, where Klein would get the idea for the company, ScoreStik.
A father of two, Klein said he and fellow co-founder Joe Lyle have been coaching their kids since they were five years old. “We noticed that scoreboards are either non existent or they are a 50-year-old technology that is still outrageously expensive, so we decided we could do better,” Klein said.
Towards the end of 2013, Klein and Lyle started working on this idea of making scoreboards more modern and easier to use. At the beginning of 2014, Klein and Lyle had built the first version of the product and installed it with ABQ Futsal, the company’s first customer, which runs an indoor soccer facility in Albuquerque.
Even though the screens ScoreStik is putting up aren’t as big as traditional 12-foot scoreboards, they are easier to read than old light bulbs or even new light bulbs. ScoreStik scoreboards also can be connected to the web.
“I’ve always got myself involved in these undefined, vision only, type projects. You got to make something happen,” Klein said. The process of starting a company, however, comes with challenges.
“The process is like a rollercoaster with many ups and downs. You can have these big set backs and then these big thrusts forward,” Klein said. “Handling the ups and downs, keeping an even keel and a constant vision, keeping going and motivated through the positives and negatives is the biggest overall theme that I feel about making this startup happen.”
In Albuquerque, 15 of 27 middle schools in the Albuquerque Public School System have ScoreStik installed in their school gymnasiums.
According to Klein, the startup scene has grown exponentially in the past two years. When Klein was first beginning his endeavors with ScoreStik, he discovered ABQ ID, the first start up accelerator program in Albuquerque. ScoreStik was among the first companies chosen for the accelerator.
According to Klein, the startup scene has been an electric environment.
“The startup scene is exploding, innovation district downtown is exploding, and there’s a lot of energy being put into that right now,” Klein said.“For me to be able to bounce ideas off of people, get input, find people who are interested in helping and getting involved, it’s been a great environment.”
Klein says his sole focus right now is on improving ScoreStik and getting the product’s name out there.
The goal for Klein is to install ScoreStik in schools and private sports facilities across the country as a scoreboard network.
Klein is continuing to develop the functionality of ScoreStik, as the company is about to roll out a new software version for all the APS schools that use the boards. This new software is currently in the final testing stages and is set to be deployed once everything is squared away and ready for the market.
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Co-founder of the startup company ScoreStik
What do you think is the most interesting part of the innovation economy in ABQ?
“The startup scene is exploding, innovation district downtown is exploding, and there’s a lot of energy being put into that right now. For me to be able to bounce ideas off of people, get input, find people who are interested in helping and getting involved, it’s been a great environment.”
If you weren’t doing this job what would you be doing?
“I would probably be in some sort of tech or software company working on some project that is a new innovative project that is undefined.” [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
“The startup scene is exploding, innovation district downtown is exploding, and there’s a lot of energy being put into that right now,”
“For me to be able to bounce ideas off of people, get input, find people who are interested in helping and getting involved, it’s been a great environment.”
— Gordon Klein[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]