PlayerData Cofounder Roy Hotrabhvanon on Market Feedback and the Give First Mentality

Jun 24, 2024

Roy Hotrabhvanon graduated from the distinguished University of Edinburgh, Scotland. His love of all things tech and his struggles in his own sport led him to change the game for everyone by building PlayerData (Techstars 2021). With now more than 1,000 teams globally using PlayerData, Hotrabhvanon is determined to change the status quo in sports. Along the way, he has been part of the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy and has been listed in Forbes 30 Under 30.

What does your company do, and why is it important?

PlayerData is a sports tech and data company for athletes at every stage of their game. PlayerData provides industry-leading wearables to athletes across the U.K. and the U.S. Our mission is to revolutionize the way athletes train and break down traditional barriers in access to data.

PlayerData’s products collect on-field performance data. We cover all outdoor sports that can be played on a field, such as Soccer, Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Rugby, GAA, and American Football.

Our product puts the data in both the coaches and the athletes' hands seamlessly. Data is used to improve tactical performance, manage player training loads, and ultimately help teams extract the most of themselves.

How is what you are building disrupting your industry?

We are democratising access to technology, we are taking elite-level technology and without sacrificing quality making it available to the masses, this not only creates frictionless workflows for people who already use GPS, but it also makes that product available to a market that has never had the time or money to use it before.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs who are just starting their journey?

Get product out fast, there is nothing more precious than market feedback. The more people that can touch and feel what you have built, the faster it will hone the product for them. Be prepared to fail, and fail forward!

Are there any lessons you've learned along the way that you wish someone had shared with you when you started?

Try to keep a good sleep and meal routine, it helps keep you going through the grind.

How do you celebrate your achievements and milestones within your business?

We celebrate little wins here at PlayerData. It could be a recognition channel on Slack or just ordering pizza for the team. But, for me, whenever we have a big win, I go for a nice sushi.

Why did you want to do an accelerator, and why did you choose Techstars?

At the time at PlayerData, we had found product market fit but needed to learn how to tell our story. Techstars is one of the most world-renowned accelerators on the market, and it felt like a no-brainer to join the program and gain access to some of the brightest minds in the industry. It also gave me access to other entrepreneurs in the industry and a network that I still use to this day, all the time.

What was your biggest takeaway from your time spent in program with Techstars?

Give first — simply trying to help anyone, without any expectation of getting anything back. This mentality has really helped foster new and unexpected relationships.