Today we have the honor of interviewing Christian Hasler, Managing Director/ Co- Founder, SKILLCOURT GmbH, a leading sports and health tech company.
SKILLCOURT GmbH will be exhibiting and speaking at our NY Sports Tech Summit at Citi Field on November 15. If you are attending the event, set up a meeting to connect with SKILLCOURT GmbH.
The SKILLCOURT is a diagnostics and training system that uses artificial intelligence and special sensors to precisely record the movement of people in space and, thanks to targeted exercises, trains visual, cognitive and motor skills. Based on scientific work, they have succeeded in developing training that improves skills such as concentration, memory, responsiveness and orientation.
Based in Schweinfurt, Bavaria, and founded in 2006, SKILLCOURT GmbH continues to expand its global presence with employees across the world.
Here is a video showcasing how their technology works:
SKILLCOURT GmbH now works with elite teams (German and Swiss Bundesliga, WNBA, NCAA teams like USC etc..), the military. and the Swiss Olympic medical team.
📝Show Notes: Through this interview, we touched on his background, and his company and product. We also discussed the benefits for sports organizations and athletes to use their product. Lastly we talked about their competitive advantage, business model and plans for the next 12 months.
Best Quotes: Here’s some of the key discussion points and best quotes from our conversation with Chris:
On his background:
“ "I am 39 years old with a professional background in sports science. I have been an entrepreneur in the sports and health tech industry for nearly 18 years. My companies have shared a common goal: enhancing development for children, patients, and athletes. It all started with a therapy and performance center, now one of the most recommended facilities in Germany, possibly in Europe, with nearly 60 employees."
About SKILLCOURT and its use of LiDAR technology:
“My journey led to the creation of SKILLCOURT, an IoT product designed to assess and improve visual, cognitive, and motor skills”
"We utilize a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system for real-time measurements of contact time, speed, directional change, and visual skills like multiple object tracking and saccades, as well as cognitive skills such as working memory, inhibition, and reaction times. This makes it fully independent of the surface area or size."
"SKILLCOURT offers scientifically validated tests for visual, cognitive, and motor skills that are reliable and valid. We capture movements using the LiDAR system, combined with markerless motion capture cameras."
On the size of the SKILLCOURT system:
"The system consists of a tower that requires about a one-meter square space. We measure the space in front of the tower without permanent installations. The most popular sizes sold are four by four and five by five meters."
"For basketball, we've added a specific size corresponding to the three-point shooting line."
On how basketball team use their system as part of their routine, drills, or rehab process:
Teams typically integrate our system into their performance areas for baseline screenings,” activation, priming, and return-to-play processes. The medical department uses it to evaluate rehabilitation progress. The data can also be compared with that from college or university teams for scouting and individual development."
"We also have installations directly on practice courts, where we place ground stickers to guide athletes where to move, with or without a ball."
On the fact that they sold 400 units in Europe to date and are now focusing on the US market:
"We have sold over 400 units in Europe in the last two and a half years. We are now expanding into the UK and U.S. markets."
On the current use of SKILLCOURT:
"Teams incorporate our tests into their baseline screenings to assess injury risk and sometimes integrate them into team training."
"For example, in leagues like the Premier League or Bundesliga, where play and recovery are prioritized over training, our system allows players to train independently, without additional physical load, which is crucial for elite teams managing player workload."
"Players can sign in via palm vein recognition and conduct their specific training for 10 to 15 minutes once or twice a week, which has a positive impact on their visual and cognitive abilities."
On what teams appreciate about SKILLCOURT:
“Teams value the simplicity of conducting assessments quickly and the fact that our system is not space-consuming. It allows for easy, fast, and accurate assessments and improves player skills without additional physical strain."
On their competitive advantages:
"Our product is an all-in-one system that offers an easy, fast, valid, and reliable alternative to the more space and time-consuming methods available. We are the only such product on the market to date."
"Our unique approach combines visual and cognitive exercises with physical movement, which research shows is more effective for real-life application than using digital applications alone."
On the type of teams and leagues (Bundesliga, WNBA, etc..) they are working with today:
"We collaborate with Olympic training centers, German Bundesliga clubs, the Swiss Bundesliga, and we are nearing partnerships with the Premier League and WNBA teams. We also work closely with NCAA teams like USC and the Swiss Olympic medical team."
"Special forces and elite military units use SKILLCOURT for assessments and training, requiring quick and accurate decision-making even in high-pressure situations."
On their pricing and business model:
"Our business involves selling hardware, complemented by software services. Many teams prefer not to have recurring payments, so we offer the product at a cost of $50,000 for five years or annual payments of $12,000 for five years. This price includes all software and every update."
"Our product is priced affordably, reflecting our broad market approach beyond elite sports to include fitness centers, physiotherapy schools, and similar entities. We maintain consistent pricing across the board, so a small physiotherapy practice with a handful of employees pays the same as an elite sports team."
On their plans for the next 12 months:
"In terms of product development, we're enhancing our system with the addition of force plates and heart rate monitoring capabilities. We're also focusing on return-to-play assessments for upper body injuries, aiming to complete this within the next six months."
"Commercially, we've established an office in the U.S. and are working on expanding our presence in both the U.S. and U.K. markets. Financially, we're considering raising capital for the first time, likely within the next 12 to 18 months. Currently, we're fully bootstrapped."
"Although we're a small team of 50 people, we embody the advantages of a startup — passion and dedication to our work. Unlike many startups, we don't suffer from limited operational funds, commonly known as a 'runway'."
"We're aiming to secure a minimum of $5 million in funding, with an optimal range between $5 and $10 million for our Series A funding round."
On the best way to reach out to him:
“I'm available for contact via LinkedIn. or directly by email. Additionally, I would be delighted to meet interested parties in person at the Upside Sports and Health Tech Summit at Citi Field in New York on November 15. Please feel free to reach out to me at my email address:email@example.com “.