Zone Startups Profiles: StockJocks
In this ongoing series, we celebrate our newest companies, give some background, and show where they’re headed.
This week, we have an interview with Ammar, CMO of StockJocks, providing live fantasy sports technology to avid sports fans.
Ammar Dayani, CMO
- BMOS degree in Consumer Behaviour, minor in Psychology
- Sales, marketing, and business development experience in sports and trading cards
- Long-time relationships with influencers and athletes
Ruwan Silva, CFO
- BA in Economics
- Professional experience pricing derivative securities at RBC and IT architecture consulting
How did you meet?
We’ve known each other since grade nine—for 12 years! We went our separate ways after high school but always kept in touch. We wanted to start a business together but didn’t know what.
How did you come up with the idea for StockJocks?
We were sitting in a bar, watching the Raptors game, while simultaneously following our fantasy teams on our phones.
I had Lowry on my team and he ended up leaving the game with a leg injury, thereby ruining my chances of winning my fantasy matchup this week. Frustrated and thinking out loud, I asked “Why can’t I just drop Lowry and pick up another player?”
The idea came to us right away.
A fantasy sports game, where users can pick and drop athletes in real time. After doing our due diligence, we saw that no one else in the world was doing this. We decided to pursue the opportunity and start its development. We thought that the best way to display this real-time change would be on a stock market, where prices change with every play of the game.
After coming up with an MVP, we brought on 50 beta testers from whom we received invaluable feedback and suggestions for three months. After launching in the fall of 2016, we’ve been on Dragons’ Den, partnered with a professional NBA player, and are now housed at Ryerson Futures (DMZ). We’re very excited to see what the future holds for us.
Describe your company: the short version
Changing the way people watch sports.
Describe your company: the long version
The problem in the sports gaming industry is that existing products lack the user engagement required to create valuable second screen sports viewing experiences for sports fans. With this in mind, we built a live sports gaming engine to enable the creation of mobile apps with real-time in-game interactivity. Using this engine, the first app we’ve created is StockJocks.
StockJocks allows users to play alongside their favourite teams in a truly immersive and engaging sports gaming experience. Users compete against others in stock market simulating contests by using virtual currency to buy the players they think will perform best with the goal of earning the most profit on their player picks.
The engaging nature of the app is created by our proprietary algorithms which update player prices in real time with every play of the game and thereby allow users to buy and sell players live in-game. If a player scores, watch his price rise, and if he misses, see his price drop, all in real time with the ability to buy and sell at any moment.
Describe your ideal customer and their use case
Our ideal customers are male sports fans in their mid 20s, college educated or higher, with a salary of at least $60,000. Customers use our product to make their leisure time watching sports a more engaging and enjoyable experience.
Our ideal customer goes to the bar with his friends to watch the Leafs game. He is a fantasy sports fanatic and understands that an app like StockJocks is the best way to enjoy the sports viewing experience, so he joins a contest with his friends and competes against them during the whole game to see who knows the most about picking players. He understands that if he wins, he wins a cash prize. But more importantly, the most rewarding prize in fantasy sports: bragging rights!
How is your company different than your competitors?
We thought, since this is called “fantasy sports,” why are there so many restrictions? Other apps force you to lock your line-up before the game starts, therefore turning you into a helpless spectator during the game. That’s no fun! StockJocks is the only app that lets you interact with your team, live in-game.
It allows you to play alongside your favourite teams and athletes, and thereby making the game more fun to watch! And because of our interactive gameplay, our user engagement is through the roof. For this reason, StockJocks is more than just fantasy sports; StockJocks is a fan engagement platform that is changing the way you watch sports.
What do you hope to accomplish while at Ryerson Futures?
We’d like to secure partnerships with RFI’s official partners and sponsors, like Rogers and MLSE. We also need to raise a Series A either through RFI’s fund or a VC.
What hurdles do you need to overcome to succeed?
We need to scale faster, which means securing strategic partnerships fast in order to dominate this industry and be first to market. Our goal is to not only have a presence in the North American market, but also the global markets and get involved with soccer and cricket teams/athletes.
We want to be in the palm of every sports fan while they watch their favourite teams compete. In order to change customer behaviour, we need to educate all sports fans about our platform, and show them how fun and rewarding it can be.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
We’d like to be acquired by a sports or media company.
For more information, check out the StockJocks website.