This interview is about the future of and innovation in sports. It’s also about overcoming great odds. It’s with Isaiah Kacyvenski, co-Founder and Managing Director of the Sports Innovation Lab.
Isaiah has quite a story. He had a tough childhood, but ended up going to Harvard where he played linebacker on their football team. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2000. He ended up retiring from the NFL in 2008. After retiring he went back to the Harvard to get his MBA. And yes, he’s also been on Oprah.
He was one of the first employees of MC10, which is a health wearables company.
In December of 2016, Isaiah started the Sports Innovation Lab, which is a leading sports market research and advisory firm around sports innovation and its future. They help to identify products and services that will be the future of sports. Their clients and partners include Gatorade, NFL Players Association and IBM.
Here are some other things we talk about:
-What did you learn from you childhood that helps you now? What did your Mom have you watch/listen to almost every week?
-What areas of focus do you cover at the Sports Innovation Lab?
-How do you help clients?
-What’s one area of tech you’re especially excited about?
Dave Kruse: Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Flyover Labs and this interview is about innovation in the future of sports, so I’m pretty pumped for this podcast. It’s with Isaiah Kacyvenski. Isaiah has quite a story. He had a tough childhood but ended up going to Harvard where he played line backer on their football team and he was drafted by the CLC Hawks in 2000 and ended up retiring from there in the fall of 2008, and after retiring he went back to Harvard to get his MBA and yes, he’s also been on Oprah. So as you can tell, Isaiah does not mess around and he is one of the first employees of MC10 which is a health wearable’s company. So now in December 2016, Isaiah started a sports innovation lab which sounds as cool as it is which is a leading sports market research and advisory firm around sports, innovation and its future. So they help to identify products and services that will impact the future of sports. So I’m quite excited to hear a little about Isaiah’s background and what he’s working on now. So Isaiah, thanks for coming on the show.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Dave, thanks for having me. I appreciate it. That was quite an intro. I don’t know if I can live up to it.
Dave Kruse: No, no. You know what, it’s funny. I think I saw your birthday at someplace and I think I’m about like three weeks older than you.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Oh! Very nice.
Dave Kruse: So yeah, I’m a lot more mature than you.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: So that means you are September 1977 birthday.
Dave Kruse: That’s right, that’s right.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: I got you.
Dave Kruse: So anyways alright, so there’s a different podcast somebody else with you talking about your background, which is quite amazing. So maybe we’ll just start there. I want to talk a lot about what you’re working on now, but if you could just give an overview of kind of your background and how I should – that would be awesome.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Yeah, I mean it’s again, I appreciate you having me on. I am excited to talk with you and learn you’ve only heard good things. Yeah, I think just talking about my childhood and some of the pieces that really shaped how I think about the world really happened during my formative years growing up and you had mentioned already, you know I grew up in poverty. I was the youngest of five kids. I grew up in poverty through almost a good point of my childhood and I had a father that was an alcoholic and really wreaked a ton of havoc on the household. At a pretty early age I realized that one thing I did have – like I will let you know that my father has now been sober for close to 30 years. He’s been a true blessing to our family and like you know really early on in my life I was able to see how that was wrong. My mother, she is the shaping influence in my life and was really a beacon of light for me. Both my parents were both in and out of orphanages during their childhood and I never really had really like a guiding favor. They had a tough childhood themselves. My father you know really ended up you know with a kind of a similar kind of childhood. They both had different ways they dealt with it. My father you know really resorted to a pretty bad temper and an alcoholic. My mother with her difficult childhood actually took that and made that a way that to really show that she didn’t want to raise her family like that and she was just an unbelievably loving person. Without, like I said both those – my mom and my dad without very much of an education – I believe my mom failed two grades. It might actually have been three where you know she was diagnosed with a learning disability later on in her life. But I was never diagnosed and was really called stupid and dumb my entire childhood. She was not going to let that happen to her family and you know from someone who had very little education, she showed us the value of reading and of making sure school was an important priority early on in our life and I did – I obsessed we didn’t have a TV. We had a radio and we had a record player and she would just definitely drop us off at the library and we would read massive amounts. Every Sundays we probably would read six to eight hours, just massive amounts and consumption. I really started to play around with things that I liked and I really saw that I was drawn into reading biographies and biographies specifically around a variety of different ways that – I used to like the journey on peoples story and how they got really successful and I started to tilt towards sports and I remember reading a book on Dave Roose and reading a book on Dan David who was a wrestler and Jerry Rice and Walter Payton. I continue to read these books and I love hearing people’s paths, how they overcame adversity and they all do that. But then reading books and consuming books and understanding and really gathering a lot from a biography and the kind of peoples paths really helped shape me early on. Another thing that how faulty or kind of how shaky I was early on was my mother diving deep with us and sitting us down once a week to listen to Martin Luther King’s, ‘I have a drink’ speech and we use to listen to that on a record player, you know us five kids. I am the youngest of like I said of five; two boys and two girls as my brothers and sisters. She use to sit us down before that and we’d listen to that once a week. We got a true appreciation for how wrong the world can be sometimes and then how much pain there is and how much more love that needs to be really, really injected in the world and in a variety of different ways. She was just unbelievably emotionally intelligent for you to have the wherewithal with a very small education and to show us that at a very young age and that has left a huge imprint on my life. Again, this is week after week, really understanding the value in that and that helped shape me, helped me really put myself in other peoples shoes and understand that people, a lot of people are hurting in the world; to try to really add more and more love into this world every single day. So those are the two huge factors for me to help me shape my childhood and it really helped to really shape the outlook that I have and you know it really helped me from really feeling sorry about myself and where we were at and really helped me discover this beautiful [inaudible] which I was thought at a pretty young age, when I was nine years old and I really didn’t look back. I had a true awakening when I was 14 years old and woke up the next morning as I – you know I really look at it as a turning point in my life. I woke up the next morning after when I was 14 years old, once specific night. I work up the next morning and made a sign and put it above my bed that said “let no one outwork you today.” I really carried that over into academics and as well as on the sports field. I was a football player as well as a wrestler and a track athlete. I was a pent athlete and really used that as my work where I have to really maximize every single day and maximize this in an amazing country that we live in. We have this true freedom to control our destinies and I wanted to maximize that. I never wanted to look back and say I regret anything and I haven’t been perfect but I try to look back every single day and say, ‘hey, did I put everything I possibly could into every single day?’ and I try to do that and I try to – so I now have two kids and I try to have them strive and do the same. I have a 13 year old and a 11 year old, so. Anyway, I don’t have a long winded way of talking about my childhood, but I think those have like been the exact things that have helped shape how I think about today.
Dave Kruse: No, that was great. I think that’s pretty much the podcast, so thanks for coming on – no, I’m just kidding. We could just talk about that the whole time. It’s a different podcast, but that was – no that was awesome. I wanted people to get a feel for – you know of course I read a fair amount about you and watched videos, but I wanted the audience to get a feel for your background, because it’s definitely quite an amazing story. I mean, do you think – have you thought about if you did not have that type of upbringing, would you have done what you did. I mean I know it’s kind of hard to know, but I’m always curious, because I may have interviewed a lot of people and a fair number do have some tough backgrounds, a fair number don’t, but yeah, have you ever thought about would have happened if you lived like in a – I guess no one has a perfectly normal upbringing, but you know I mean a little and stuff.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Yeah. No, I mean I think it’s a great question and I definitely thought about that over time. I now have become someone that is really, really continues to dive deep in understanding peoples stories and even where I sit now, I have invested in over 20 companies in tech and biotech and I really want to get to know the entrepreneurs, what makes that person tick and try to understand how they got to that point in time. And you know really I look at that as a way to – like we’re always pushing on with some adversity. How will this person react when the chips are down or will this person run through a wall no matter what and I really think that that’s a personal thing. I like to think that would happen just based on some amazing guidance from this amazing woman that was my mother, as well as you know some people around me that worked as well as it was academically as well. There’s things I learned on the academic side in the classroom that I could have never learned, some amazing teachers and then there’s things on the field that I could have never learned in the classroom and I think vice versa. I think all those pieces combined, I think I would have had it. I think the you know kind of true, true insight that I had and the true background, I mean we all kind of make up our history, but we’re not defined by our history, although I like to think you know some of those experiences really made me appreciate how – they made me appreciate how hard I had to work to go out and achieve, but also they helped me appreciate what I have today and I would never take anything for granted. So I wouldn’t necessarily have saved my path, but it changes I think how I look at each day as a gift and you know material things is material things and they do not define me, they do not define my family and really being able to think about that. I think it’s an amazing question. It’s one that I think a lot of people have rested with over time. We all kind of are shaped by our experiences, but we’re not defined by our experiences if we were able to overcome that and I’d like to say that – I think the hunger to continue to achieve is definitely driven at the innermost part of my soul. It’s definitely driven by this fear of not achieving, of this fear of ever going back to poverty, but you know I would not say it’s the overall driver to every single thing I do.
Dave Kruse: Interesting, okay. And a couple of more football or pre-tech questions before we get into the tech stuff, but – so you played a lot of football games. Do you remember one game that you were the most nervous for in your entire career or maybe just to watch or maybe none, maybe you were never nervous?
Isaiah Kacyvenski: No, I wouldn’t say I was like nervous per say. For a ton of games, it was more of like how I look at football. I looked at football as really as a release for me, as a way to like – I don’t know, it felt like I could run free. It’s one of the things I hate about not being able to like live my life today. I loved being able to run free and hit people, which you know I happen to be good at and I think I have a good knack for. I can’t do that today. I am not trying to become like an office linebacker like just to completely terrorize everybody. So you know I think you know those aspects were something that you know completely you know had a true love – I completely lost my train of thought here. How am I an office linebacker?
Dave Kruse: If there was any games you were nervous for or maybe super pumped for you could say too or anything that…
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Yeah, I mean I think the biggest game of my life was the Super Bowl. I would be crazy to say if I wasn’t. I was one of the captains of that Super Bowl team we played. I was with the Sea Hawks. We played the Pittsburg Stealers [inaudible] in Detroit. That was just an amazing experience. It was a very emotional experience as well. It was more of like – I guess you could say I was a little nervous, but it was more of like excited and just couldn’t – I had to pinch myself that I was actually playing that game and just really tried to soak up every single aspect of it. So that you know, I would actually say the NSP Championship game was probably the most tense game before starting, just because you’re on the cusp of being able to realize that’s not a dream. You don’t want to do that and I just remember the anticipation for that was just you know – it was awesome and it was great and scary all at the same time. I loved it and then you know really having that game in Seattle, at home and its really the loudest game I have ever been involved with ever. It was like, yeah you could barely hear yourself think for four quarters in that game. We played the Carolina Panthers at home and it was just crazy. It was one of those games I will never forget, but just an amazing experience you know winning that game to get the Super Bowl and that was awesome.
Dave Kruse: Interesting! Alright, yeah I could just talk about that all day. So one more kind of football, but tech related. How did you get interested in what you’re doing now, and I know you went to work with MC10 as one of the first employees, but you know where you always kind of interested in tech or innovation while playing or when did you start getting kind of interested in that space?
Isaiah Kacyvenski: That’s a really good question. So I didn’t have – this is like a funny one. I didn’t have a computer until I was in senior year at Harvard and I – like that shows you how technology oriented I was in growing up around technology, not ever like no one bought it. But what I have done was like I am a very curious person. I try to see that and then I shy away and to delve a little deep I had a word processor and this is how I wrote all my papers to Harvard it was my first three years there; I had a word processor I used, and then I transferred all of that probably to like you know the modern age with a computer during that senior year and I never really looked back. I kind of embraced technology and have a passion for it. I would say I always thought there’s potential for technology to play an intrical role. I was a pre-med undergrad. My back up plan if I didn’t play in the NFL was to be a doctor and I always saw technology as playing a key role and how technology would change in the future, a key role in helping to really add a ton of value to that experience. Really to think about the remote monitoring that as we think about it today. The ability to you know quantify things and I used to think about that as not only as an athlete. In the NFL I was a quinged player. I was never a superstar and I was always trying to find something in my way to optimize my performance or minimize my risk of injury. I was doing that in graph paper. I was really doing it with a piece of pen and paper. If you look at sleep and hydration and workouts and exertion and how you actually do all that, it was not sophisticated. So wanting to quantify that experience and take the guess work out of how you train, it was really there and I remember it as being as urgent. Like technology has to play a role in this somehow and that’s not fine just running as an athlete. I started to think about – I now have 11 surgeries on my body. So I had nine when I played and started to think about that experience as what if I could qualify this experience. I had so many surgeries and it was frustrating for me and like how close was I to coming back. What if I could quantify that via technology, to show if I could baseline when I am healthy, how close I am coming back. You could actually put a number, quantify that number and how close I would be to being healthy again, and that kind of like that gray area of not knowing was always throwing me off. So again, I could go on and on with guess work during hydration, I was a cramper and always I used to think about very critically about that, which is what if I could take the guess work out of how we hydrate and stay ahead of the curve and make sure I never cramp ever, which came through and ended up having a planned device that actually sufficiently solved that which was a longer story and I won’t get into that again. But this idea of becoming a quantified athlete which was really an extension of quantified self really started to have technology play a role into making that feedback look a lot tighter. I know I am going deep into the space, but that kind of really led me into Wow! Technology should have a role front and center to help revolutionize how we all look at that quantified experience.
Dave Kruse: And so when did you start having those thoughts. Like how did you get involved with MC10?
Isaiah Kacyvenski: You know it’s a great thing. So you know I retired, I went to Harvard Business School and I decided not to go to medical school. My kids were young and I didn’t want to miss their childhood. I really had a love for physiology, a lot of passion for medicine and really saw in my experience you know I also have a deep love for sports as well. So tying in all these different aspects with my love for technology, I want to find the right fit and was able to find – I had nine offers coming out of Harvard Business School and well these are the way to grow. Like I didn’t know what I do now and I wanted to like – I never had any type of business or economic background. I actually used the two years in business school to actually learn with my round up and you know what to do and you know I put a formal education around what I had already built already, like kind of self learned and then being able to continue to be able to push the envelope on kind of the curiosity factor, how could I find the right fit. There’s a couple of things I realized out of Harvard business school where I had never kind of allowed myself. I’ve barely been a hard science guy, you know physics, chemistry, biology and everything else. Really what I valued most when I kind of was able to kind of have this self realization as I like being the – having the ability to be creative; having the ability to start to innovate and think outside the box and take notes and I start to apply to other spaces. I wanted to find an area in which I could be unbelievably creative and not be harnessed by what would be you do this job and only do that job and that’s it, don’t do anything else, everybody else has their job. And like I said, I had nine offers coming out. MC10 was one of those, it was that front and center as the way to unlock and has always been a technology platform to unlock a variety of different use cases, unlocking human physiology and really dog tailed. I understood the longer term vision of fully quantifying the human body in a highly accurate way and something that has still not been realized but will be in the near future, which more wearable’s as they are today or highly inactive. It’s kind of like the dirty little secret. The ability to capture highly accurate data outside of a controlled setting is still illusive. The ability of MC10 as well as there’s other companies in this space are now pushing the envelope on having the realization of creating that apples-to-apples comparison outside of a controlled static setting where you have massive machines to then having a high level of accuracy when you’re actually going about your actual day in life. That larger vision is what I bought into and really helped to understand how you can quantify all physiology on the body and that was kind of the thing that really stuck me into MC10. So sorry for the long answer.
Dave Kruse: No, that’s good. And can you give some ideas of kind of the products that you sold when you were there, because were you head of – were you part of the business development team? Is that what you were doing? I forget exactly, I‘m sorry.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Yeah, I was the global head of business development. I helped lead the launch of three products there. One was the check light which measured the force of impact to your head. We cut a deal with Reebok in conjunction, so they used to – you know MC10 is a fairly flexible electronics company, a two platform technology company. If you could put electronics anywhere, what would you do and how would you measure and that really – they had a lot of the foundational and intellectual property around making electronics kind of flexible, so a ton of the use cases can be pulled out of that; in some of these cases measuring force of impact and that check light product. The second one I helped launch was the L’Oreal. It was in conjunction with L’Oreal. We licensed our technology for a L’Oreal UV skin batch which measured UVA, UVB exposure for skin light as well. So being able to actually think of our environmental conditions and partnering up with an amazing company like L’Oreal to really help shape how – if you want to have skin health and how that looks over time. The third one was that true cut of Lamborghini, what is now the Lamborghini of research. You know a piece of technology that allows you to accurately capture data outside a controlled setting is the BioStamp and I’ve lead the launch of that in you know a little less than two years ago and the ability to take that, the BioStamp which is a thin flexible electronic patch and has that – be it with location agnostics, we’ll really be able to put that anywhere on your body to capture data, to put multiple BioStamps on the body, to truly quantify ECG, EMG, accelerometer gyroscope access to all the raw data and launching that into the academic institutions; launched that into over 60 academic institutions across the world into a variety of different use cases. Think about that as the vehicle to give you access to raw data that you could then build out with obviously the use cases on top of it. It sort of how we think about the iPhone right; you build apps and get an iPhone. You have all these strings of data coming in. This about that as the ability to be able to do that on body and really help build out – you deploy that into the human performance labs, cancer research labs, sleep research labs, orthopedic rehabilitationary surge lab, the list can go on and on. There’s tons and tons of use cases, which really has been illusive for researchers to collect the real world accurate data as your going about your day.
Dave Kruse: Interesting. That was a quite a good experience, and so that kind of leads us into what you’re doing now. Take us through – when you started the sports innovation lab, like you know what made you decide to start it and how did you kind of get it going initially, because it’s never easy, but it sounds like you’re doing it pretty well and you’re going to be doing to for a few months?
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Yeah, so yeah the sports innovation lab is – you know we officially launched in January and yeah, so we’re a little over – actually we’re about six months old. We built it really over the course of the year before we launched. So we really have been in existence for about a year and a half, building up a year before I was ready to go. The thing about the sports innovation lab as a market research and analysis company, as a way to truly understand the competitive landscape of what is this in sports technology and innovation broadly, globally, who is doing what where and what are they focused on? Really saw all this as a ridiculously fragmented space. It blows your mind on you know companies popping up everywhere, but no one’s literally tracking them. There is no one in this space tracking all of the different companies doing and then defining the spaces we’re in. So what we have done is we’ve now betted over 2,000 companies globally, divided them up into 30 different segments, all defined and then we say we did the real cluster analysis around where these companies are actually focused on? What are the major trends that actually matter and we did cluster analysis on that and we got five major trends that we covered. Quantified Athlete is one of the trends, Smart Venue is another one of the trends, Immersive Media is another. NexGen Sponsorship is the fourth and then the fifth is eSports, electronic sports and eGaming. I don’t know how that is going to intersect with sports and you know you really start to think about the world in the broadest way possible, sports as a lens to get to bigger markets. Quantified Athlete in the end, they really speak to what we talked about earlier. Quantified Athlete really is an extension of Quantified Self. You know Smart Venue really is an extension of Smart City in ILC. Precision in Madison is really going to be realized by Precision Nutrition first and the ability to really use sports as a testing ground to get some much larger markets is really what we’re doing and you know we’ve got 18 – we’ve launched six months ago and we’ve got 18 clients, some of the biggest companies in the world, IBM, Intel, Google, Gatorade, the NBA, Verizon, [inaudible] the FLPA, One King Collective [ph] you name it. It’s just been an amazing ride and you know there’s different reasons that people want to really look at any of the landscape in a variety of different ways, but really helping to navigate that landscape to tell a much bigger story of what it’s all about.
Dave Kruse: Got you and I saw that Gatorade, I think that’s Gatorade. Yeah, Gatorade came out with that hydration like platform and you kind of mentioned the hydration for it. Did you guys have any – they probably have been working on it for a while, but have you ever checked that out at all?
Isaiah Kacyvenski: I will – so I’ve had a longstanding relationship with Gatorade and I know – I’m trying to think about this in the best way. So yes, it’s been an amazing ride of being able to really, really work with Gatorade as a client to help optimize their strategy if they could use a push word and it really continued to redefine hydration and even got nutrition in an entirely different way. It’s an unbelievably talented team with a deep technical base that fully understands how the world is changing. So you know I think that is probably the best way to answer it and you know I think really what you’ve seen of Gatorade is the tip of the iceberg or really one of the bright spots on looking forward to the future, sports as a lens to the much bigger market as well and anything in the variety of ways continues to see, have a pulse of the changing landscape and playing our role in that.
Dave Kruse: Interesting, okay. And how – so if a client came to you – I mean it depends upon the client, right; IBM versus Gatorade, very two different clients, but you know let’s say it’s a more of a general technology from like IBM. How would you even start with them? If like they came to you and like hey, let’s have a first meeting. You know tell us how you could help us, you know you can tell him he can go through all the different 2000 companies reviewed. But then how do you start like to get into like actual products they could develop or do you get that far? Can I – yeah, what’s your wait and tell point?
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Yeah, it’s a great question. I can give you the kind of the full – the actual full part of this story which is you know we start with our base, we have a huge software database that houses all the information. So we get access to that, like you know our subscription model that gives you access, information at your fingertips, market sizing, competitive landscape, people. So it’s a very efficient way. If your familiar with ‘The Gardner, Forrester Research Model’ it as actually taking the best in class on that type of B2B research and plastered into this sports technology space. So that’s kind of the base model which is we collect all the information and we help you quickly navigate. It’s a level of efficiency that is really driven. The next level is like this ability to help optimize strategy. How do you dive deeper on? What is different for each of the companies? What is actually important to them strategy wise? What do they want to execute and who are they trying to find to help do that? So it is a way to, you know really look at a way to supplement with really strategic consulting and strategy around executing a real plan and connecting the dot and that’s really where it ends up being as well. The last portion is we actually – the lab version of what we built is we’ve done – we can do hardcore product testing, lab evaluation and you know we just launched our first scout model, which is independent objective report cards around technologies in this space. So if you’re looking at – we wanted our scalp which really kicked criteria into the strength of the business and to the strength of the technology and really uses away the criteria to help with the decision making process. We focused initially on the athlete management of systems or athlete performance platforms, the ones that exists in the space. But being able to say hey, here’s an objective part of your report card if you’re making decisions on companies like us. This is actually how they perform when you’re making software decisions. So there’s kind of three components on the software platform to you know the strategy optimization, to the actual objective part of report cards. Those are the three kind of components to help with the decision making process and help navigate over a complex space.
Dave Kruse: Okay. And what’s – what technology are you especially excited about or is there anything out there that you’re like Wow! People are – I mean of course wearable’s, but is there anything even outside of you know if whether it might be eSports or media or sponsorship, anything that your especially like Wow! This is going to be big and maybe don’t want to share it either if it’s like that.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: No, I mean there’s a couple of guys I’m like very bullish on. You know as I think about how the world is really going to unfold and part of it is what I kind of alluded to already, which is this true – you know Quantified Athlete is an extension of quantified self, which is quantified worker, which is quantified soldier, which is quantified patient. In the end this is all very connected. This is not needing you know the athlete in you, you know you being on the other end being you know kind of a [inaudible]. In the end a lead athlete will ultimately will be at home or where I am now, enjoying back as a businessman. I want to feel my best and human physiology if captured accurately should help to tell that story on how to feel your best, and what it is doing is you actually have a prescription on to be able to do that. There are going to be technologies that are going to help play a role in looking at ways in order to fully enforce that, you know from a hardware and software side. So this true realization of human performance, how do we all feel our best when our best is needed, giving me a path, giving me a blueprint to feel that way, that’s the way this world is going and that’s a trillion dollar opportunity. That’s a massive, massive opportunity and that’s where I feel very, very bullish on. Sports is merely a testing ground for that. You know people are very motivated, that’s all a different thing. It’s not slowed down by the regulated space of you know being able to hook into you know EMR systems of the hospital is the slow and laborious process. The fact is the consumer on the unregulated side is moving very quickly on this. That will very soon be best in class, aggregating massive amounts of data and analyzing those data sets. I think in turn like that’s how you do the integration into the EMR sequence for the large hospitals. The ability to move quickly and have that resonate with larger groups of people over time, it’s going to be really something that’s going to be really moved away from sports and its going to be relevant for all of us. How do we all feel our best? How do we put together a plan to feel our best as well, and that’s where it’s going and that’s where the huge opportunity is and I see it very, very clearly. The one other piece that is kind of an extension of that is this idea of precision nutrition. The ability of giving your body and it’s the extension of what I just said, but the ability of giving your body, specifically Dave and me we’re different, giving our body what they need; a similar idea for precision medicine but really doing that with nutrition. It’s going to be realized first, so giving your body the supplements and everything that they need to really be optimized; the right foods, the nutrition, every single piece and that’s different for each of us as individuals. Being able to use nutrition testing to variable to a variety of different pieces of technology and help dilate it is a grand point too. We see huge opportunity there as well.
Dave Kruse: Got you, okay. And I’m curious a little bit, to hear a little bit more about eSports. And I know – I don’t know how much you’ve delve into – well you’ve delved a lot into eSports, but you know how it will impact I guess – you know will it impact regular sports? I mean I saw one blog post and you were talking about how stadiums could you know become host to more eSports or eGamings and stuff. Yeah, how do you see it kind of playing out in the future with…
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Yeah, I mean I’ll focus on two areas. There’s another one that I feel very bullish on as well. eSports is a fascinating area. Its unbelievably fragmented, unbelievably complicated and really is putting you know kind of the traditional sports model at its head and – but at the same time you see how eSports and traditional sports are going to intersect and they are really going to complement each other over time. I see huge opportunity from a variety of different areas arising in eSports, not only from the communities that are going to rise and exist, that are very latent to a lot of people, but are there and are continuing to grow and there are some pretty jaw dropping numbers out there around that. You look at Twitch that was acquired by Amazon you know I think four or five years ago or maybe even more, but thinking of why the streaming platform for gamers that are actually playing videogames while streaming I’ve seen them play. At any given time you know people on that Twitch platform, I think I have see the numbers. At any given numbers there are peak hours that takes up 10% to 15% of the broadband of the entire United States; mind blowing numbers. Its mind blowing numbers. When you talk about a mass of communities that is laden in a variety of different ways, seeing that grow over time and seeing that a base of – you see this intersection of tradition sports that have always been kind of really teaming up with eSports as well to really help grow and no one really quite understands that and how is that sort of an explanation, which is if any way to grow a user base that doesn’t exist. It’s a way to drive growth into a variety of different areas and as well as really grow an affinity for the sport itself, whether its virtual in eSports or actually playing the game, you know however it is its very complementary as well. So if there’s growth potential and you continue to move away from traditional sports and go through the legal and go to all the different types of games, how those communities are also going to continue to grow as well and then pull in and have this halo effect with traditional sports as well. So it’s going to be fascinating over time how it all plays out. It’s a ridiculously complicated area, because you have the lead – the actual policies of the video games that are on the leagues that are on the teams that it indicates – it’s become very – that advantage is kind of really driven by you know everyone being amazed that becomes inevitably a twist, so being able to understand how this all comes together. The venues which you mentioned are also you know having the eSports actual events and games. It’s another absolutely fascinating area. If you look at those and I’m sure you could see them on TV, you see as you say a highly engaged audience. You don’t see – if you look at traditional sports you see somebody at a baseball game looking at their phone the entire time down at the game. If you go to an eSports event and look at it, no one is on their phone. Everybody is absolutely engaged and is usually yelling their head off. It’s a completely different way of really looking at a captive audience in a way that is really, really driving an engagement that was ridiculously high and just unique in and of itself.
Dave Kruse: Interesting. Alright two more. We’re almost out of time, but I have two more questions. So one is, so you know I live in Madison, Wisconsin and it’s like the University of Wisconsin the Badgers and I was trying to convince…
Isaiah Kacyvenski: I love it.
Dave Kruse: You love it?
Isaiah Kacyvenski: I have been up there several times.
Dave Kruse: Have you? Alright, nice, nice.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Yeah. When I was talking about the BioStamp, the University of Wisconsin was one of the very smart institutions that saw the value of the BioStamp when I was at MC10 and we only used this as a world class research tool to be able to quantify a variety of different things and some of that was focused on some really, really amazing work on orthopedic rehabilitation as well as human performance in general.
Dave Kruse: Interesting! Yeah, I mean they are always testing out new stuff and that’s one reason I was trying to convince them in the athletic department, like you guys should set up some type of – I want to get your thoughts on what you would do if the University of Wisconsin called you up and be like how can you be more innovative? I’m like oh! You guys should set up like an innovative team. Like to kind of make it more formal. Right now they get involved with different studies I think. But yeah, how would you – if you were going to a college program or a pro of course for a college program, what recommendations would you give in order to become more innovative?
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Yeah, that’s a really good and tough question. First off, it’s really to understand what the appetite is. You know our focus is really trying to figure out a team that (a) is willing to understand and learn how the world is going to change. To be able to sit back and these are the trends that are happening in this space. Maybe this doesn’t fall in line with how you see the world or where you’re looking at your strategy for your organization or your school. But you know these are larger trends happening. I think it doesn’t make sense to bury your head in the sand. It makes sense to know about everything. So that’s why I think the basic thing is just being able to keep an open mind and having a pulse of what that looks like. I think continuing to develop relationships with a broader industry as focused around that is actually you know really, really important and I think the academic institutions are starting to see that and I see that as you go. I was based out of Boston and we got you know over 60 Universities and institutions that are here that you know we have you know the full salvage as well, but I really think that radiates outwardly which is you know really having this kind of two way street back and forth between innovation and discovery and research itself to really reflect you know the new things now that is kind of dominated by the industry but you help define by industry as well as your still having those truly, truly innovative points. So I think being integrated with that, listening to kind of what happens in the market is really important. But you know personally I think you know us, The Sports Innovation Lab would actually love – I hadn’t thought about it before, but you know I would love to talk to the University of Wisconsin. In some way we have gotten three academic partnerships that we have from the Harvard Innovation lab, the MIT Sports Technology and the Research Group, as well as the USC Center for body computing in ’08, e have three of those academic partnerships. But we continue to have a win-win partnership on really creating a pulse of what exists out there and how we continue to push the envelope on testing.
Dave Kruse: Interesting! Okay. Yes, well I will – I’ll send my contact there this podcast. So, just saying…
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Okay, awesome.
Dave Kruse: You never know.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: I love it. But you guys – I will say that you guys have one of the world leaders in lower extremity gate assessment and his name is Brian Hugershire [ph]. He is an absolute rock star. He is at the University of Wisconsin. He is a world renowned expert and he is one of the gems that you guys do have there, but he is an absolute Jedi when it comes to lower gate assessment and its always kind of a functionality, whether it comes from orthopedic group or other aspects.
Dave Kruse: Cool! Yeah, I mean that stands – yeah, living in Madison, the University of Wisconsin definitely your never aware of all of the town that’s there.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Exactly Dave, I got you.
Dave Kruse: It’s in Boston too I’m sure. You guys have so many Universities. Alright so last question, and this is more of a personal and I am always curious, you know what do you like to do outside of work. It sounds like you have a family and kids. What do you like to do?
Isaiah Kacyvenski: That’s a good question. I love – I definitely love – I love staying ridiculously busy. As you can imagine, I am very busy with business interests as well as running the sports innovation lab and I am thinking to grow the company. Now there are 18 clients. We’ve built the team now over 20 people, mostly analysts here. So as you can imagine, they are extremely busy and we’ve got a couple of really big deals that are about to close and are on the table for some other things that you should see. You’ll see an announcement in sports shortly. So that’s kind of business and career wise, let’s say ridiculously busy in a variety of different interests and technology in biotech. On top of that, actually before that and kind of first of all I love to relax and I love relaxing with my family. I have a 13 year old boy and I have a junior daughter Lilliana and my wife is my high school sweetheart. I love to spend time and relax with them when I can. This is an amazing time you know when I can do that. I really cherish my alone time and my family time with them and I really try to unplug regardless of what the situation is and whether it’s been a good day or a bad day it doesn’t matter. It all goes back into really cherishing and loving every single moment you can spend with them and in a way that we look at it, it is my own childhood growing up which is being able to do that and not experiencing that myself and having the ability to create that when I was older, and I never take that for granted and I love it.
Dave Kruse: Nice, alright. Well that’s great and I guess that does it. So Isaiah, I really appreciate you taking the time to chat and very inspirational where you came from and what you are doing now. So yeah I loved hearing your story. So thanks for sharing it with us.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Thanks Dave. I appreciate it. It was great talking with you and I’m looking forward to hearing out this stuff.
Dave Kruse: Yes definitely. We’ll send it to you before hand, so in case you need to trash something. No, it was great, so yeah.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Awesome, alright.
Dave Kruse: And thanks everyone for listening to another episode of Flyover Labs. As always I definitely appreciate it. We’ll see you next time. Bye everyone. Bye Isaiah.
Isaiah Kacyvenski: Take care there. Thanks.