Elite Interviews: Spogo
Andrew Vassallo and David Shack are the brains behind a brand new sports app called Spogo. This app allows you to make predictions about the games you watch live and to win rewards in return.
Who are the people who inspired you to follow your entrepreneurial aspirations?
Andrew: My parents have been instrumental in inspiring me to start Spogo. By providing me with a setting of creativity and a great education, my parents have given me a unique opportunity to pursue a shared dream of starting my own venture.
What are some of the prizes people can win through Spogo?
Andrew: This season, Spogo partnered with 50 sports bars across Boston and New York – all of whom offer rewards through the application. Rewards range from all you can eat wings to free pitchers of beer to V.I.P parties for you and 50 of your friends. Beyond local sports bars, Spogo users can win prizes like free gear from an apparel website, or a tour of the Patriots Hall of Fame. As the Spogo platform grows – so too will its rewards.
What did you find was missing with other sports apps that you felt needed to be addressed?
Andrew: Very early on in the idea phase of Spogo, David and I realized that there was a gap in the fantasy experience for sports fans. Most sports apps available now are either content-based (think ESPN Scorecenter), or engage users between games (think Yahoo! Fantasy Football). With this insight, we created Spogo, a way for fans to make live predictions as the game happens – and win real rewards for doing so. It’s an engaging, rewarding and social experience unlike any other available today.
What is your biggest tip for entrepreneurs?
Andrew: First, the cliché – don’t be afraid to take the leap of faith. While Spogo remains in its early stages, and is still far from what we define as “success,” I know that leaving a good and stable job is difficult – but trust me, if the opportunity is right, it is well worth it. My second tip: don’t be afraid to share your idea and get feedback. Early concept feedback from experienced individuals is essential for progress and success.
Whose career inspires you the most?
Andrew: As a Boston-born sports fanatic and aspiring entrepreneur, this one is easy – Robert Kraft. Mr. Kraft is a self-made business magnate. From starting his career at a packaging company in Worcester to founding the Kraft Group and owning the New England Patriots, his career inspires me not only to work hard, but also to pursue my interests.
How is Spogo different from other sports apps on moblie devices?
David: Sports apps are everywhere, so it was important for Spogo to give fans a clear reason to play. Our hook is that, for watching sports and making in-game predictions, you can win great deals and prizes.
How did you come upon the idea of infusing sports, gamification and prizes in an app?
David: As huge sports fans ourselves, Andrew and I realized there needed to be a way to engage these people with the games, as opposed to distract them from it — this notion evolved into Spogo, which essentially gamifies live games. We felt the most compelling reason for fans to play Spogo would be to win a great reward, right from their barstool, so that’s exactly what we created.
In the future do you wish to expand the app from only sports to other areas?
David: Absolutely. We offered Spogo for professional football only this season to ensure users enjoyed the Spogo experience we had envisioned. We’re using a lot of our own users’ feedback to continue building the application into other sports over the coming months.
What is your dream accomplishment?
David: I want to leave Spogo having helped it become a huge success, not only as a tool for sports fans who love to play while they watch, but for our business partners as a traffic-driver and marketing platform. If I can one day leave Spogo knowing it will continue to thrive — that’s a dream accomplishment.
Five, 10, 50 years down the line when you've achieved everything you aspire for today, where do you see yourself?
David: Five years down the road, I’d hope that Spogo has fully grown into what we envision for it today —a widespread, social, rewarding predictive platform. In 10 years, I would hope to be working on building the next thing. And, in 50 years…I’ll be planning for the next 50.
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