A golfing professional has joined forces with investors and a Newcastle tech firm to launch a pioneering sports app.
Steve Bainbridge, a golfing professional and elite coach for the last 34 years, wanted to create a one-stop-shop app to help coaches and players get the most out of golf, combining coaching tools and analysis with booking services.
Since starting on the project with Nebula Labs, however, the resulting oneXp platform has grown to become what he hopes will be one of the world’s most sophisticated new coaching tools, which can be used for any sport.
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Mr Bainbridge said he is initially centring on the golf and tennis sectors, but talks are already under way with academies, governing bodies and professional teams in a number of other sporting arenas. With huge potential for growth, plans are being made for oneXp to open a base in Newcastle city centre in the next few months to focus on scaling up.
Among the investors is Ally MacDonald, the emerging firm’s chair. who is also CEO at offshore specialist Tekmar Group. He said hopes are high that the new platform will create between 30 and 40 jobs in the coming years.
Mr Bainbridge, who is based at Northumberland Golf Club, said oneXp’s route to market will be through the governing bodies, which will have thousands of players on their systems. To have them rubber stamp the system would raise brand awareness for OneXP and then hopefully open more doors.
Following on from its launch last week, he is in talks with the Lawn Tennis Association to become a tech partner, England Squash, Real Tennis and equestrian organisations, and a North East club is also set to become its first professional team to sign up to the platform.
Approaches will then be made to football clubs, academies and other sporting bodies once the team element of the platform has been completed by developers Nebula Labs, which has been working with the founders for around two years on the project.
Mr Bainbridge said: “It started off with a frustrated performance coach not getting what I wanted in one place, to being a golf app, to then developing a sports app – that journey is now actually our start point. We were using lots of different platforms to gather information and communicate with our clients. I decided to take the best of the best and bring it all together, and make it better, in one platform.
“We looked at other sports and thought that it must be out there in the market, but it wasn’t, so it went from a golfing product to a coaching product – now it’s a platform for all coaches.
“We’ve got some really clever technology. It’s the only app in the world which allows 3D analysis of player clients, with multiple images going into the same analysis platform, which is quite cool.
“The other thing that’s really cool is we can give a live lesson anywhere in the world – you could do that with Zoom, but we’re the only app in the world where we can interact on the screen, draw lines, circles and record what I’m saying so that clients have that analysis to look back on. It’s completely ground-breaking in terms of allowing analysis with a pupil or client anywhere in the world.
“Our end goal now – and we’re starting this in a few weeks – is to build basically Facebook but for adults and sports – we’re going to build a whole communication platform. It’s been a real journey and it’s really transformed.
“As a coaching platform I’d say we’re the best in the world at launch. There’s some very good coaching platforms and very good booking platforms, but no one does it all. I don’t think Nebula Labs have slept much in the last year, bless them, but we’re really proud of what we’ve got, it’s very special.”