Sportskred, now a MassChallenge Switzerland 2017 Finalist, approached RichBrains in the early days of their venture to develop their business idea of connecting brands with athletes. Having no technological expertise, Sportskred required a platform building from the ground up on limited resources and with only their vision for a brief. We defined their business needs, determined their MVP scope, developed their platform, then deployed and refined the final product.
When we were first approached by Sportskred, the platform was an idea that needed building from scratch. The brief was still open-ended, with only minimal features defined; the payment mechanisms were still under consideration, and infrastructure and maintenance costs had to be kept to a minimum. Sportskred needed advice about the feasibility of their ideas, how to develop the user interface, scalable options for the future, and the ongoing requirements of each feature that was added. The platform needed to be deployed as soon as possible, meaning changes would be required to a live site with deployments several times a day.
Connect athletes and brands in an easy to use, cloud-based interface
Create an automated, stable and scalable system to cope with future growth
Create a safe and trusted platform for all users
Sportskred is an online marketplace where brands discover amazing athletes and conduct endorsement and sponsorship campaigns on social media. Sportskred were one of the MassChallenge Switzerland 2017 Finalists and as such, will benefit from participating in MassChallenge’s four-month start-up accelerator program.
Firstly, we met with the client to discuss their needs and requirements and suggest ideas. We undertook the business analysis to help Sportskred determine their business needs, problems and solutions, as well as the target audience. Then we developed the minimum viable product (MVP) required for Sportskred to launch.
The next step was to get the web application up and running. Working with the client, we helped them define and then build the user experience. Over 100 prototype pages were created to get the optimal interface.
We used Amazon Web Services (AWS) so that the whole system was cloud-based and could scale for future loads as the platform grew, with a pay-for-use system to save them money in the early days. We also implemented MySQL within AWS RDS, which – being a familiar tool – freed up developers to focus on other features. We set up four profile types on the platform, with a tag system and verification checks to ensure that there was a real athlete or brand associated with each profile. Then we set up a matching system using big data and external social networks’ API integrations. In the near future, we will be setting up artificial intelligence algorithms, to automate the analysis and further refine their service.
Changes were identified through our progress reviews as the brief transformed and developed, leading to intense periods of frequent updates. Different parts of the client team also required different features, so we had to manage multiple requests and react quickly while ensuring the live platform was stable.
We used Docker, which allowed us to run and test the changes we were making and then quickly move them into production.
Features and ideas that were not immediately required were put into a backlog, and prioritised at the progress meetings. For example, we advised Sportskred to put automated payments into the backlog, as it was easier and cheaper to use manual payments with the initial low volume of transactions.
We set up a custom admin panel for the owners, who used this to view how the platform was performing, provide custom analytics, and also make adjustments to some of the features.
Sportskred is now a fully-fledged business with all the functionality that the platform required, and we will be supporting them again to further refine their service. Systems are set up to be scalable in the long-term, and the platform has grown since its launch in 2016 to include 200 athletes. By helping Sportskred develop their idea into a fully functional system, they were able to enter and become one of ten finalists in the MassChallenge Switzerland’s 2017 startup-accelerator programme.
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