Pasadena’s BallerTV: You Don’t Have to Miss Your Kid’s Game After All

“I think Pasadena’s a hidden gem in the start-up world in terms of talent,” says one of the successful start-up's co-founders

Published : Thursday, March 21, 2019 | 4:47 AM

Pasadena-based BallerTV co-founders Aaron Hawkey, Robert Angarita and Sandeep Hingorani. Courtesy photo

BallerTV could serve as the chamber of commerce’s poster child for what can happen for tech start-ups in Pasadena.

BallerTV offers families, coaches and tutors the option to view their high schooler or club-aged athlete’s amateur game streamed live through its app.

The start-up is not the first rodeo for co-founders Aaron Hawkey, Robert Angarita and Sandeep Hingorani, whose pedigree includes creation of Pasadena-based Cramster, an online study community for college students, later acquired by Chegg.

“We love Pasadena for the amazing resources it has to pull from and that’s Caltech and ArtCenter,” said Hawkey in a March 20 interview. The company has 10 founding team members and five of them are Caltech engineers, he said.

Cramster, Hawkey noted, was built and sustained in Pasadena for eight years and grew into something special. “I think Pasadena’s a hidden gem in the start-up world in terms of talent.”

After the sale of Cramster, these young turks were in the enviable position of asking themselves what they next wanted to do next with their lives, and able to make the rare decision to work in something they liked, sports.

Said Hawkey: “We saw Facebook Live and Periscope taking off and were like, wow, nobody has a live streaming app just for sports.”

The trio were also in a position to finance the start-up on their own and they did so, again, in Pasadena. It took 18 months to develop the app and network of videographers.

“The technology is there so that anyone who knows how to use Instagram can be a half-decent sports videographer,” said Hawkey. “And then we have an unlimited number of parents who want to see their kids play. We paired those two together and since then it has gone crazy.”

Once the partners were sure they had found product-market fit, institutional investors were brought in to muscle up the operation, specifically the venture capital firm Peak Ventures.

The primary focus is on amateur youth sports, under the age of 18, Hawkey explained. On athletes that play high school or club sports who may have a desire to continue on in college or even beyond.

“Our product is all about connecting families,” said Hawkey. “The parent of a 17-year old still wants to stay connected with their kid. So they and the grandparents and aunts and uncles can get access to the game live. That’s really our primary benefit.”

The games are streamed live at BallerTV.com and archived for post-event viewing as well. Users can subscribe to the channel for $90 a year, or pay for events separately.

“Maybe you can’t be at every single game and you’re at the bank and we send you a text message on your phone saying, ‘Hey, your kid just went live.’ You tap the link and there you go,” he explained.

The company has thousands of videographers nationwide that record games once BallerTV has approached the most competitive events in a geographic area and arranged to broadcast them.

The goal is an on-demand model that assures a parent or coach never misses a game and, as such, Hawkey said, the surface is hardly being scratched in terms of what needs to be covered.

“I played basketball at La Salle High School and I don’t have a single moment of my career archived anywhere,” said Hawkey, “I’d like to think we are archiving some of the most important moments in kids’ and families’ lives.”

blog comments powered by Disqus