The Durham Startup Seen: In the latest installment of our occasional series on startups and entrepreneurship in the Bull City, BCR correspondent Justin Landwehr tells us of a Bull City innovator looking to do for college athletic programs what Blackboard did for campus academics: become an indispensable tool for managing and coordinating the enterprise on and off the field.
Sometimes the best software ideas come from those everyday problems you grudgingly take for granted until that “a-ha” moment happens and you find a way to solve them.
Take Zach Maurides, a Duke graduate and founder of Durham’s Logisitical Athletic Solutions.
Standing at 6 feet and 6 inches tall, Maurides played several offensive line positions for the Blue Devils from 2003 to 2007, starting at left guard his final two seasons. He went up against the likes of Virginia’s Chris Long – son of Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Howie Long, and second overall pick of the 2008 NFL draft – and Joe Anoa'i, a defensive tackle from Georgia Tech recently turned professional wrestler who Zach says was the most violent player he faced.
But before Maurides earned the starting role to protect the quarterback, he was helping his football team by developing the first sports communication platform of its kind. And the inspiration came from his own hard-learned experiences.
By his sophomore year, Maurides had experienced first-hand the communication problems that result when coaches, athletic trainers, academic support staff, team operators, and strength and conditioning coaches all vie for an 18 or 19 year-old’s time.
“I was running a lot of stadium stairs because I would be late for a meeting or I would forget about a study hall. The core of that problem for me was time management. I had so many things to manage and I could not manage them all.”
That same year, a class project called for students to conceptualize a web application that was in some way a service to others.
Zach Maurides had an idea.