CoachUp Founder Jordan Fliegel on TechStars and MassChallenge

Monday Nov 26, 2012 by Susan Johnston - Contributor, VentureFizz

Growing up in Cambridge, Jordan Fliegel played basketball, but it wasn’t until his parents hired a private coach that he started to really excel at the sport. With the help of coach Greg Kristof, Fliegel says he went from warming the bench to being recruited by over 50 colleges (he attended Bowdoin College) and playing professionally in Israel and Europe.

After coaching basketball himself and working at Waltham-based online marketplace Zintro, Fliegel began working on CoachUp, an online marketplace that helps athletes and their parents find qualified coaches in their area. “I had this experience as a client of private coaching and as a private coach,” he says. “CoachUp was a natural evolution of my professional experience.” The Boston-headquartered site launched in beta in May 2012 and has since booked over 800 coaching sessions. The company averages about 60 new coaches per day and recently raised $2.2 million from General Catalyst.

Earlier this year, CoachUp was named a $50,000 Gold Winner by MassChallenge and participated in TechStars Boston. Fliegel says both programs were helpful both to him and the nine-person company. “They have great mentors [at MassChallenge], lots of great events, a beautiful building and beautiful office space,” he adds. “They don’t take anything from you, they just try to be helpful. Winning the gold prize gave us a lot of credibility.”

Fliegel also presented at TechStars Boston’s Demo Day on November 14, an experience he described as “a great opportunity to show your story and show your product and also interact with more investors.”

With Demo Day behind them, Fliegel says they are moving back into the MassChallenge offices and plan to move into their own offices next June. The company is also hiring, particularly in the areas of product development and marketing.

On the product side, Fliegel says they plan to add more features that will “make it super easy for our coaches to manage their business, collecting payments and reviews and scheduling sessions. We’re adding more coaches and really opening it up to allow more parents to find coaches. We’re also doing a lot of partnerships with many of the country’s leading sports organizations.”

Susan Johnston is a journalist and contributor to VentureFizz.  You can follow Susan on Twitter (@UrbanMuseWriter) by clicking here.

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