Photo Credit: CBC Dragons Den
The team at Shnarped exchanged “pounds” (hockey’s version of a celebration high five) for their success in the recently aired Dragons’ Den on CBC. Dustin Sproat co-founded Shnarped while completing his MBA at UBC and worked for nearly a year out of the UBC Incubator office space.
All 5 Dragons pledged to invest a total of $250,000 in return for a third of their Vancouver-based company. The pair’s had asked only for $100,000 in exchange for 10 per cent of the firm, but were extremely pleased to include the support and experience of all 5 Dragons.
Quoting Monte Stewart’s article in the The Canadian Press:
Shnarped, named after a card game that hockey players often play while riding the bus on a road trip, enables fans to send online fist pumps, known as pounds, to players for a good goal or effort. Players and fans can also send messages to each other in what’s described as a safe setting, without being subject to the public glare of Twitter and other social media, and also get news and stats on players and teams.
“I’m just trying to enjoy the process,” said Hagel. “It might seem like a cliché, but I enjoy going to work every day here in the American League and trying to get better as a hockey player so I can give myself a better opportunity to make it up there (in the NHL). ”And in terms of Shnarped, it’s pretty much the same thing.”
One Dragon, Boston Pizza baron and franchising mogul Jim Treliving, has already finalized an investment agreement with Shnarped and is working on connecting Hagel and Sproat with his contacts in the NHL and other sports leagues. Approximately 350 players at all levels use Shnarped. The 80 NHLers active with it include Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, Matt Moulson of the Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher, a teammate of Hagel during the NHL lockout with the Hamilton Bulldogs last season.
Dustin Sproat, Kyle Hagel and the company’s third co-founder, Kamil Sikorski, who built the technology, hope the “Dragons’ Den” appearance and recent praise for Shnarped will spell more business opportunities at the NHL level. Currently, Shnarped Hockey relies on sponsorship as its main revenue stream, but Sproat said the company plans to generate more income through licensing agreements with NHL teams and other organizations that would allow them to use the Shnarped pound on their mobile applications. Sproat is also hopeful that Treliving’s connections in hockey and other sports will pay off. Treliving sits on the board of the Hockey Canada Foundation and owns the Quad City Mallards of the Central Hockey League. His son Brad is the assistant general manager of the Phoenix Coyotes.
“I love to invest in people, and the guys running Shnarped are top-notch,” Treliving said in an email to The Canadian Press. “Shnarped is at a tipping point, and the abilities these guys have, combined with the exposure on “Dragons’ Den” and any connections I can help them with, should set us up to grow rapidly.
Hagel and Sproat got the idea for the Shnarped technology while developing the Hockey Players for Kids literacy program. Players had trouble staying in touch with the program’s youngsters due to changes in teams and email addresses. The company plans to give significant portions of their company’s profits to charity when the business is more established. Congratulations and we are excited about what lies ahead!
View Dragons’ Den episode.
View Shnarped Profile.
View Shnarped webpage.