For our new video series “5 minutes with”, we meet with innovators and entrepreneurs from across Scotland to find out about their journey and the rewards and challenges of being a player in the Scottish digital technologies sector.
First up: Jim Law, founder of the sports participation app Find a Player. Want to know more about Find a Player? Check out the video below or read the transcript of the interview below that!
Who are you?
My name is Jim Law and I am from Find a Player.
What is Find a Player?
Find a Player is a sports participation network that connects sports people and games in local areas. We also work with the whole organisation side of administrating an event so if you’re an organiser you can run your game on our app.
If you’re short on numbers, you can find people to pick up and from the other angle, if you’re somebody new to an area or looking to get more active, you can find events that are going on in your area and ask to join them.
How did you come up with the idea?
I’ve been playing sports all my life and I saw on Facebook there were continually people spamming all their mates, saying “Oh, I’m two people short for…” normally football.
And I moved into Glasgow, lost my regular games, lost my badminton club, lost the guy I played squash with. I realised I was always looking for games and games were always looking for players.
The whole thing seemed totally inefficient. I thought there must be a better way to connect the two groups looking for each other.
So, in my stupidity, I decided to set up an app.
What was your breakthrough moment?
I think there’s been a number of things but the biggest one so far was winning Best App at the Sports Technology Awards about two months ago. We beat a number of global brands in the finals. We beat Arsenal, British Rowing, New York Marathon and the German FA.
It was something we just completely discounted that we could win so that was pretty huge for us.
What’s the most valuable insight you’ve gained so far?
There’s so many. Probably the biggest one is: Get the team right. You can’t do everything.
You really need to trust the people you’re working with and build a team that can deliver the bits that you can’t do yourself.
What are your thoughts on Scotland’s tech scene?
I think it’s way better than it was ten years ago. Companies like FanDuel and Skyscanner who have proven that you can build a billion dollar tech company out in Scotland.
And I think that if you had told investors even five years ago that you could do that, they would have probably laughed in your face. They seemed to think everyone had to be in London. So yeah, I think it’s definitely going in the right direction.
I think there’s undoubtedly challenges that we face being a tech business in Scotland. Raising money for tech businesses is pretty challenging but I think that’s changing and I think certainly there’s a lot of companies coming behind FanDuel and Skyscanner that are doing really cool things, like Mallzee and Appointedd and companies like FreeAgent who are doing great things.
In an ideal world, where would Find a Player be 5 years from now?
My long-term vision is really to do something that’s like Facebook for sports. In the same way that Facebook connects your social networks, we want to connect people’s sports networks.
Find a Player is available on App Store and Google Play. Search ‘Find a Player’ to download or go to findaplayer.com
Digital Cities 2017
A series of regional events aimed at unlocking the potential of digital in Scotland’s cities.
Coming to Dundee&Perth, Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen, Stirling and Glasgow this September.