Lance Heron is the CEO of Armilla in Salmon Arm, BC. Armilla has created a technology that improves coach-to-player communications in the sports industry.
After a challenging climb, six companies, including Armilla, are now moving onward and upward to the 2022 OKGN Angel Summit Finale on March 16th. We connected with each of the finalists to learn what they would do with the investment, why they think they are the right choice for the investors and hear their insights on the Summit program.
What problem were you trying to solve when you started Armilla?
The playcalling system in football is antiquated. It’s using 50s technology and we wanted to bring it into the 21st century. We’ve developed a product that saves all of a coach’s plays, makes calls in milliseconds and prevents other teams from stealing your data.
What makes you and your team the best ones to solve this problem?
We’ve got an amazing international team built here—everybody from Gerhard DeBeer, who played in the NFL—to former NFL and CFL general managers working with us. We’ve got an executive from MLB advising us, an Emmy-award winner involved in PR media and a top-notch sales team.
Why should the investors be interested in Armilla?
Our technology has never been done before. We developed it because some football stadiums only have an internet connection on the home team’s side. We wanted to build a communication tool that worked everywhere. Turns out, this technology has caught the interest of other industries like logistics, medical, military, police and other sports. The potential application and reach that it has for other industries are shocking.
What are key learnings that you’ve taken away from the experience?
Don’t take all of the advice you get to heart. Go out and do your own research based on the feedback you get. It’s important to come to your own conclusions and not take any criticism in a negative manner. Learn from them, grow and adapt what you need. Don’t bend and change why you believe in your company and its value.
What advice would you give to the participants of next year’s Summit?
Be ready to answer the hard questions. If you answer them correctly, and you’re confident in what you have, people will come around to the way you see your business and its potential. Everyone has their own experiences that shape their perspective. You can try and fit your business into their understanding or you can help expand their perspective.
If you are just learning about our OKGN Angel Summit, it is a 10-week program where accredited investors and startup founders are introduced to the world of angel investing through a guided, hands-on process with multiple pitch events and training activities. This process provides participating companies with a chance to learn how businesses are vetted, complete due diligence, and make improvements to their pitch. At the end of the program, during a live public pitch event on March 16th, the investors will decide which company receives the $150K investment from the fund.
Who will take home the big investment? Find out at the 2022 OKGN Angel Summit Finale on March 16! You can register for the Finale now on Eventbrite. Tickets are free for students and members of Accelerate Okanagan.