The battle is on. Things are heating up. And our top 6 have been chosen.
We met one-on-one with the 2021 OKGN Angel Summit’s top 6 to hear their insights into the Summit and their final pitch for the top spot.
Meet Brett Montrose, founder of Streamline Athletes in Vancouver. Brett has built an online platform that improves the recruitment process for both athletes and coaches. We recently caught up with Brett to learn more about his inspiration behind the idea, his experience as an entrepreneur and his plans to go the distance in the Summit.
What problem were you trying to solve when you started Streamline Athletes?
We wanted to increase the number of high schoolers who get to experience sport and collegiate education by centralizing information and democratizing access to it. My business partner Alex and I were collegiate-level track and field teammates. We became aware of all the time and resources that were being dedicated to recruiting and the decision-making processes for incoming athletes by the university. Despite being injured during his time on the team, Alex managed to maintain his roster spot to support the coaching staff with recruiting. After some research, we realized that what we discovered on a micro-scale was a universal problem for university athletics recruiting.
Why should people be excited about your product?
Sports have the capacity to change people’s lives in a significant way. Creating equitable access to sports has the ability to give people greater experiences and become more impactful citizens in the world. Whether they continue on to the professional or collegiate level, we truly believe that people who get to spend time in sports have more to give back. We want to bring more opportunities for athletes to experience that.
Can you tell us about the success you’ve already found?
I’m really proud of our ability to withstand a global pandemic. We went to market with our B2B offering in March 2020 and started to make sales. Then the world started to change. We really showed our ability to be resilient and to persevere—finding new ways to be successful and communicate what we were offering to the market. Not only did we prove we could survive, we actually grew during the pandemic.
What kind of expertise is your team bringing to Streamline Athletes?
From an advisory standpoint, we’re working with a group that has a lot of very specific skills and broad knowledge. We also have an advisor who founded and operated a company 20 years ago that was looking to solve the same problem we are. She’s gone on to have a fantastic career in marketing, but she’s helping us now because she sees us as the best opportunity to continue solving that problem. Within our team, the biggest differentiator for us is the level of sports knowledge and experience we’ve brought into the company. It’s exactly what our competitors aren’t able to provide.
How do you see your company growing?
Today, we’re proving our approach for track and field. Next steps are to expand to new sports markets with sport-specific solutions, each speaking the language of the student-athletes and collegiate programs in that sport. An avenue for growth we’re really excited about right now is our brand ambassador program. We’ve been able to partner with five elite-level Canadian track and field athletes—many of whom are Olympic medalists and looking to compete again this summer. They’re going to add a lot of rep and backing to the company.
If you were to win, what would you do with the investment?
A round of investment would help us accelerate our business plan and put some fuel on the fire to help us execute faster than we already are. Our efforts would focus on becoming the market leader for track and field recruitment, bring our proof of concept across the finish line and help us move into our first sport expansion.
What has this experience taught you about the entrepreneurial journey?
As a new entrepreneur, it’s a tough balancing act because you need to decide where it’s most valuable to spend your time. I made sure to find out if a company like ours is in the right position to participate in the Summit, instead of being too early or too late. It’s been such a positive experience. I love that the information that’s educating the participating companies is the same that’s giving information to the people who could be investing in our company. There’s a level of transparency there. We’re working in a collaborative way and there’s support from the people who are conducting the due diligence on your company, you’re not just left on your own.
What surprised you most about participating in the OKGN Angel Summit?
A standard competition would have 2 or 3 rounds of pitching that follow an application. You may get the chance to work with mentors or advisors to hone in on certain aspects of your pitch, but it’s always surrounding your application or your pitch. With the OKGN Angel Summit, it’s up to the company to decide how we communicate or build relationships with investors in a more organic way. The sessions that we’re able to attend are like a glue that holds together each pitch round and it’s really valuable.
What advice would you give to the participants of next year’s summit?
Benchmark where you and your company are before submitting your application. Benchmark where you are part way through the program, and then benchmark afterwards. Have a measuring stick, know what you want to get out of the event as an individual and as a company—beyond just getting an investment. There is a lot of learning that happens and, if you’re not looking for it, you may not notice until you’re looking in the rear view mirror. Most importantly: be human, be yourself and have fun.
For tickets, more information, and a complete list of the participating companies, please visit www.okgnangelsummit.com.
Meet the other finalists: