Keeping their shoulders level, knees bent, swiftly taking off, zooming down the mountain or across the field while either snow, ice or another player blocks their sight, they maneuver around, sweat trickling down their faces, muscles flexed, and finally through the finish line.
That might not sound like the same people you see around Union Square with their Apple computer propped open, dodging yet another error message on the coding program or answering calls, yelling at employees, rushing out the door to a meeting. But Silicon Alley, a world more closely-associated with palefaces who spend most of their days in front of a screen, has its fair share of jocks. Just in time for the Olympics, we caught up with three of them in action.
Name: Jeremy Bloom
Sport: Freestyle Moguls skiing & wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL
Olympic/Athletic glory: Three times world champion and two times Olympian champion in free style moguls skiing.
Business Plan: Consolidate media and advertisements into a single platform with the aim of helping businesses both on the buyer and the seller end.
Since its founding in 2010, Integrate has raised $4.5 million in series A funding from Foundry Group and more recently an additional $11 million in venture funding from Comcast, Liberty Global and Foundry Group. According to its website, Integrate aims to enable B2B or B2C advertisers to plan, execute, track, analyze and optimize their multi-channel marketing strategy. Integrate offers technology for host and post exchange, performance tracking, call tracking, fraud prevention, and audience analysis.
Headquartered in Scottzdale, AZ with an office in New York City, Integrate currently boasts 160 employees and is looking to hire.
Mentors: Bill Maris, managing partner at Google Ventures
Altruistic Side: Founded “Wish for a Lifetime,” an organization that grants wishes to the elderly with the goal of changing the perception of aging in the United State. “When I was seventeen, I went to Japan and was sitting on a crowded bus,” he told Betabeat. “I saw an 80-year-old woman struggling to get on the bus. Everyone got up to help her and bowed to her. I want to bring the same type of respect to America’s culture.”
Fun fact: Has a thing for TV-stars (See below)
Relationship status: Currently dating Jessica Lowndes, aka “No-Drama Adrianna” on the hit TV-series 90210. Bloom made on appearance on Fox’s new dating show The Choice, a twist-off of NBC’s singing competition The Voice, where celebrities come on the show and pick a date. The show aired in early June, when Jessica and Jeremy were already dating. Awkward.
In His Own Words: ”I’ve always been a nerd at heart. I always have these big ideas, but I feel that I fit into the world better now.”
Where to find him in London 2012: As an NBC sports broadcaster
Name: Joey Cheek
Olympic/Athletic glory: Olympic Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalist & World Championship Gold
Business Plan: Still in its nascent stage, DailyHouse is a sports news aggregator aimed at “everything but baseball, football, and basketball,” with the goal of connecting fans with smaller sports. Launched a year ago, DailyHouse began as just a blog that Mr. Cheek was handling. The inspiration for DailyHouse, which is currently completely self-funded, was the lack of coverage and overarching space for small sports, which has an “aggregate millions of fans.” Right now, DailyHouse’s is running tests to expand into the sports-video stage, something they will be testing in the London Olympics. DailyHouse is looking to become a kind of YouTube for sports.
Mentors/Investors: Shhh, he’s keeping it a secret for now.
Altruistic Side: Donated his 2006 Olympic Gold bonus to start Team Darfur, a coalition of athletes uniting to bring awareness and pressure on governments that could help the struggle in Darfur. “It (the Olympics) is a great big festival of pageantry and pride. If you look at the scope of the human disaster happening in Darfur, the fact that some speed-skater was talking about it is so damn weird, so it automatically got a lot of media attention.”
Fun fact: Princeton Grad (2011) and wears tights for a living. “Think about how many Olympic sports wear tights: swimmers, skaters, track & field gymnastics, and soccer all of them are in tights – we sneered at the idea of tights as a form of branding,” Mr. Cheek told Betabeat, “It’s self-effacing, but I love what I do and I am not even remotely ashamed that I do this because I worked my ass off and I was really good at it. That sort of Life in Tights, that is a great way to describe DailyHouse.”
Relationship status: Used to date Georgina Bloomberg (daughter of Mayor Bloomberg), and supposedly broke up with her days after she broke her back in a horse-back riding accident, but he claims there is more to this story. He is currently dating Margaux Isaksen, a pentathlete, 13 years his junior.
In His Own Words: “If someone gets a message: Olympic gold medalist Joey Cheek wants to meet, unquestionably that helps get you in the door, but that is about all that will do,” he told Betabeat, adding that ultimately, “I have to deliver a product that is really differentiated that really brings a lot of value.”
Where to find him in London 2012: DailyHouse is going to be doing a daily sports wrap up in London, and hopefully having Olympic athletes come on the show as well as the sidelines in support of Margaux (his girlfriend), who is making her attempt at Olympic glory.
Name: Joe Yevoli
Olympic/Athletic glory: MLL Lacrosse player for the San Francisco Dragons, 2002 Rookie of the Year, and 2-time All American Champion.
A 2011 TechStars company, Homefield is a software services application platform for coaches to share and edit video with their players. Co-founded by Yevoli and Reece Cachero (now founder of Shelby.tv), also a former professional lacrosse player, Homefield has quite a hefty list of angel investors including: Allen Morgan, Michael Yavonditee, Charles Smith, George Kliavkoff, Christian Batchellor and Bobby Yazdani. Homefield’s latest venture: VidPrep, which they believe to be the “best video analysis tool.” VidPrep provides specialized video playback features and allows users to comment and have discussions. “With a few lines of code, our API allows anyone to have all the video analysis tools we’ve built in Homefield available on their site. We know sports, but we want to let people bring this technology further to other markets, such as healthcare, physical therapy, and personal institutions.” Homefield is looking to focus entirely on lacrosse and soccer and gain market dominance in those sports before they expand into other sports and markets.
Altruistic Side: Yevoli’s main goal, regardless of what he does in business, is to continue to add value and help others. He started the NYC Tech Blood Drive, which meets once every three months, to help save lives. “All of the blood goes directly to cancer patients,” he said. “The NYC tech community can do better than what it is doing now!”
Fun fact: In order to overcome the stigma of being an athlete in a tech world, which Yevoli describes as one of his biggest challenges, he founded the NY Sports-tech Meetup, which now has over 250 members and meets once a month at USA Today Sports. The meetup is designed for those interested in the intersection of sports and tech and is set to meet again in the first week of August.
Relationship status: Single
FYI: Caught on starnow.com listed as an aspiring model/actor. He can play guitar and sing.
Mentors: David Tisch of TechStars, Allen Morgan, venture advisor, and Jerry Calonna (who he describes as “heady”), the renowned “yoda” of Silicon Alley.
In His Own Words: When asked about business strategy for Homefield, he proclaims “Crossing the Chasm’s” D-Day Strategy as his creed. When asked to elaborate: “The ‘D-Day strategy’ keeps everyone on point – if we don’t take Normandy, we don’t have to worry about how we’re going to take Paris.”
Where to find him in London 2012: Watching from his television on the 8th floor of a steaming office room in the Flatiron District right here in NYC working to make a difference in sports, tech and people’s lives.