Edge Performance Analytics #PurposePeoplePlace

Next up for our NUI Galway 2020 Innovation Spotlight Series is Edge Performance Analytics. We spoke to Christopher Duke, Co-Founder/CEO of Edge Performance Analytics, based here on campus in our Business Innovation Centre, part of NUI Galway's Innovation Office.

Can you tell us a little bit about your product?

Ours is the first product on the market to provide elite sports teams and their medical staff with real-world functional performance insights into bodily joints such as the knee. We provide personalized data to improve athlete joint performance and rehabilitation, enhance player availability and reduce the risk of injury. At present there is no way to gather data and analyse the functional performance of the knee in real-world sports scenarios. Our Edge platform fills this gap.

Who makes up the team at Edge Performance Analytics?

At present there’s myself and my co-founder Dr Micheál Newell. Micheál is a sports injury specialist with a PhD in Integrated Biology. We’re working with some top class people, including a NASA trained aerospace engineer and a world-class sports biostatistician. For me a good hire is someone who is able to work away independently with minimal supervision. I want people to work with us and not for us!

Where did the idea from your product come from?

The idea originated when Micheál and I met for a coffee and a chat. I had been having drum lessons and was telling him how I’d like to be able to track my movements, that got us thinking about the benefits of tracking real-world joint movements in the context of orthopaedic rehabilitation and sports.

How have you gone about getting funding for your start-up?

We have received support from Enterprise Ireland via the Competitive Feasibility Fund and Competitive Start Fund. We have also received funding via our participation in the BioExel MedTech accelerator. We’re also self-funded. Getting funding from Enterprise Ireland and getting on the BioExel accelerator were major successes for us because you can’t get anywhere without cash and business development support. We were also regional finalists in the Intertrade Ireland Seedcorn competition which was a fantastic learning experience.

What are the key target markets for Edge Performance Analytics?

We’re initially targeting elite soccer teams in the EU but our platform but has potential across multiple sports. We’ve recently had a team in the English Premier League agree to trial our platform which is an important milestone as well. It could also benefit prosumers, local sports teams and weekend warriors. We also see potential in the orthopaedic rehab space.

How has your experience been working in the NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre?

NUI Galway has provided us with fantastic support and networking opportunities, both via the Business Innovation Centre and via BioExel. In particular, I have to thank Fiona Neary and Sandra Ganly for their sage advice and feedback. The one lesson I will take from NUI Galway is to ensure I continue to seek advice from experienced mentors as we scale and grow. It’s a long road so I think you need a certain amount of patience to be able to focus on your end goal and not be put off if there are any obstacles on the way.

Finally, have you any advice for people starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?

Advice I would give to people starting out is the advice you hear most often and it’s to do your primary market research early and talk to potential customers to make sure there is a definite need for your product.

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