February 15, 2013
Bluefields makes software for sports coaches to schedule games and communicate with players. Since they launched privately in September, they’ve been used by 60,000 teams.
After pitching at the 500 Startups demo day, CEO Andrew Crump ran into VegasTechFund partner Andy White. The VegasTech fund is the startup investment arm of the Downtown Project, a $350 million initiative to revitalize downtown Las Vegas. An initial phone call left Crump thinking that the Downtown Project was “crazy and strange and ridiculous.”
But a visit to Vegas in late August changed his mind. In fact, the whole vibe of downtown seemed similar to a startup accelerator, with a small community eager to learn and help each other, and outside mentors and experts visiting all the time.
And the city itself had a few advantages compared to London, the hometown of Bluefields. Besides a friendly business climate, Crump found better weather, a more supportive startup community, and access to US investors there. So he and his team decided to apply for E2 visas and try to move from London to Las Vegas.
“We’re not doing this just for money . . . The key thing we’re doing it for is to try and have a bigger impact, to try and change the world for the better and make a difference, and that’s exactly what the Downtown Project is about,” says Crump.
To make that impact on sports teams worldwide, Bluefields will pump its funding into the product. They also used it to recruit four new employees, bringing the team to six.
This seed round also included Ballpark Ventures, Venrex, 500 Startups, White Star Capital, and various angels.
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