CatchCorner by Sports Illustrated is a hub for booking sports facilities. You can instantly view availability and book ice rinks, basketball courts, soccer fields, volleyball courts, and other recreational spaces. CatchCorner is currently affiliated with over 150 facilities and is in the process of onboarding 200 more venues across North America. The company’s main mission is to promote recreational activity and sport across communities.
Tell us about yourself?
In 2017, I graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce with a concentration in Information Systems & Entrepreneurship. During my time at McGill, I co-founded a food blog called ‘TasteMontreal.’ Today, TasteMontreal has over 200k followers across social media platforms and has grown to become Montreal’s most popular food blog and food festival organizer. In 2018, I transitioned to working on CatchCorner with my sister, Maya, and one of my closest friends, Ryan. I got into this line of work as I’ve always had a curiosity for startups and a passion for sports. In addition to the fitness benefits sports brings, the mental health aspects should not be overlooked. The bonds created through sports are a great avenue for peer connection.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
The advice I’d give is that not everything needs to be perfect. Perfection is the enemy of innovation: the 80/20 rule is key. If something is 80 per cent done, the last 20 per cent may lead to diminishing returns.
What problem does your business solve?
CatchCorner allows users to have a modern-day booking experience for the sports and recreational industry.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
The nice thing is that when building the product, we had so many of our own life experiences that we were solving. Specifically, we found that the recreational space as a whole was somewhat inaccessible. We live in a world where we can access most things with the tip of our fingers. Therefore, we did not understand why such an important industry did not have a modernized solution in place. We are essentially solving this outdated issue for sport enthusiasts, youth teams, adult teams, instructors, parents, and more.
What is your magic sauce?
We learned everything we know today from the ground up. Every step of the way, we took time to truly learn, understand, and ‘get our hands dirty’. Assumptions can be very dangerous, and therefore instead of assuming, we always gain knowledge from those around us. This led to a great product-market fit as each step along the way felt like a small-scale focus group.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
I am aiming to take CatchCorner across 50-plus markets within the next five years. The vision is to become North America’s go-to app for all recreational based activities. With our partnership with Sports Illustrated, we are about to enter into a mass scaling time period.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Scalability was our biggest challenge to date. Fortunately, we thrived in the Toronto market. However, it was crucial for us to learn how to make CatchCorner more than a one-market product. From sales to onboarding to operations, each pillar of our company has become more in sync with one another, and we are now operating in a more scalable and sustainable manner. As a company, we took a step back to understand if our approach was a scalable one, and in the areas it was not, to rethink our execution and put the right people in place. Proudly, we are currently launched in six markets and are launching in six more markets by the second quarter of 2023.
How can people get involved?
To book sports facilities near you, visit our website at www.catchcorner.com or download our app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.