Monitoring athlete’s weights is a critical aspect of sports health management, particularly for preventing heat-related illnesses and dehydration. It involves regular and precise measurement of athletes’ body weight before and after practices or games to monitor fluid loss and ensure proper hydration levels. Traditional methods involve manual weighing, which can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially for large teams. Innovations in this space include automated systems and integrated solutions like Sportscale, which streamline the process, improve accuracy, and provide real-time data analytics. These advancements help athletic trainers and coaches make informed decisions about player health and performance, enhancing overall team safety and efficiency. As the focus on athlete wellness and performance optimization grows, the demand for sophisticated weight monitoring technologies is increasing as well, which leads us to this week’s Startup Spotlight.

Sharon Moore, PhD, President and CEO of Sportscale transformed weight monitoring processes through her revolutionary technology. The patented Sportscale System is a cutting-edge athletic scale and web platform that features facial recognition and a custom interactive console. It automatically stores weights, which can be accessed through the Sportscale Web mobile app. Designed specifically for athletic teams, this system significantly enhances the efficiency of repetitive weight tracking. Whether it’s for wrestling, monitoring hydration loss, or overseeing team weights, our automated system revolutionizes the workflow for athletic trainers, strength coaches, and wrestling staff. Further, Sportscale is now partnering with one of the nation’s most reputable and oldest scale builders, Rice Lake Weighing Systems, to deliver customers the very best Sportscale. This week the RIoT team caught up with Sharon to learn more about her startup journey and inspiration for this revolutionary company.

Q1: Could you tell us a little bit about your company?

Sportscale is a female-founded and owned company, based in Greenville, NC. Sportscale develops and sells the patented Sportscale System, an integrated solution that solves the problem of repetitive weighing of athletic teams.

Q2: What inspired you to start your own company?

While working as an athletic trainer during hot preseason football practices, I felt the strain of weighing football players in and out each practice, a process still considered “a best practice” for heat illness and dehydration prevention. I searched the market for an automated solution and there wasn’t one. I connected with my employer’s (East Carolina University) Tech Transfer Office and began the process of protecting my idea, licensing the IP, and launching my own company.

Q3: What previous experiences influence your role today?

I am a thought leader. I am a problem solver. I am goal oriented. This combination drives everything I do. However, I have always had an entrepreneurial bone in my body, even as a child. As an athletic trainer working in sports medicine, you must improvise in many situations, be adaptive and creative, but stay focused on the goal (that is, athlete recovery or performance). But as a founder of an equity-based startup, I’m learning as I go. This is a new role with challenges I had no idea how to prepare for!

Q4: What are the biggest challenges you’ve encountered as a startup founder this far, and how did you overcome them?

Funding and finding and trusting 3rd party contractors.

I haven’t overcome them—I have been blessed. I’ve been Led to solutions and solutions have found me. I’ve surrounded myself with (and have been introduced to) good people, built good relationships, and maintained my values. The rest takes care of itself—not without stress, blown money, and lag time, of course.

Q5: Do you have any mentors or role models who have inspired you while you have been building your business?

My lifeline and go-to mentor is one of my first investors, Rocky Butler. My other first investor, Matt Crisp, is a trusted advisor with insane business sense, willing to share his wisdom, and he has opened door after door. These two have been critical in the Sportscale journey.

But my cheerleaders, they are equally important. My husband Brian supports me 1000% and encourages me even when my challenges seem too great. My friend and professional mentor, Katie Flanagan, is the friend every female founder needs, and she never tries to dim my light to make hers shine brighter. Friends like that are hard to come by.

Q6: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs and future startup founders based on your own experiences and lessons learned?

I wouldn’t know where to begin with advice. As a start:

Dream big, be kind, stay humble, work harder, unleash your passion and enthusiasm, balance learning vs knowing, and listening vs communicating.