GW Cross Country Harrier James Stern Wins "Pitch George" Competition
Feb. 8, 2012
George Washington men's cross country sophomore James Stern was declared the winner in the undergraduate category of the annual Pitch George competition. Pitch George, an annual contest run by the GW School of Business, is an opportunity to present an idea, gain important feedback on the viability of a business concept and win start-up capital.
Stern's idea, which netted him a prize of $2,000 in start-up capital, is a series of sports statistics applications that run from a tablet computer, known as "The Field House". The software will allow coaches and athletic trainers to input an individual or team's information, facilitating quick review by all parties.
"I came up with the idea to build an application like this after talking with a friend about something similar being done for basketball" said Stern. "After talking to our awesome volleyball staff here at GW, I realized there was really a need for something of this nature for volleyball. From there the next step was finding out what coaches want. I sent a survey to every Division I volleyball coach asking about their current stat tracking habits, what they like, what they hate, and just went from there".
Using interaction and feedback from dozens of Division I coaches, Stern has been able to begin developing an application specifically for volleyball. "It will allow coaches to quickly and easily record and track advanced statistics like player pass ratings, shot locations and player synergies" says Stern. "It will be a native application, so it will run easily and be very responsive so that the coach using the software never misses a play".
The Fieldhouse will also come coupled with a web application that both the coaches and players will use to view stats, give feedback, and share game strategy. "It's essentially a secure team network that facilitates better play" says Stern.
No stranger to the Pitch George competition, he competed during his freshman year, Stern was happy to be a part of it again. "Its really great to be surrounded and mentored by like-minded people" said Stern. "The biggest thing I took away from the competition is that confidence and the ability to present an idea are some of the most important skills you can have. If you're a person with those skills, you can take them to any aspect of business and excel".