From being a standout at Blue Ridge School to working with former NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury, Daniel Ginsberg knew that he would always be involved in the basketball industry.
After his professional career overseas ended with two severe injuries, the former Baron came back to Charlottesville and started a basketball training company. Quickly, the number of clients increased, from a single trainee to an entire weekend’s worth of athletes. Ginsberg sought to find a solution to better organize the scheduling and communication with the athletes.
That’s when Utrain was born, an all-in-one basketball training app that connects athletes with trainers and coaches based on location, while finding and scheduling open gyms nearby.
“We couldn’t find a basketball training platform,” Ginsberg said. “There was not one on the market—there are a couple of older platforms that connect coaches with trainers, but they take large transactions along with monthly and hosting fees.”
Utrain is a commission-based platform, which makes it stand out compared to competitors like Accuity and CoachUp. There are no hosting or transaction fees and trainers receive payments automatically and instantly.
Additionally, players can organize pickup games in their area by pinning the location of the court and sending notifications to other users to let them know who is participating.
The app had partnered with the Charlottesville Gladiators, a semi-pro team that is a part of the American Basketball Association, to help them run pick-up sessions and receive valuable feedback on the first version of the platform.
Utrain will also sponsor the all-star game for the Tonsler League and provide jerseys for the selected players.
“We wanted to provide that function for the basketball community as a whole,” Ginsberg said.
To further the development of the app, Ginsberg hopes to raise $1 million. Part of the funds will go towards hiring two full-stack developers to help scale the business, while the other half will go towards funding a national marketing campaign where the top high school and college athletes will promote the app through name, image and likeness opportunities.
With additional funding and staff, the app will also incorporate new features, such as platforms for college and professional players to organize their own basketball camps, links for shareable training data and better methods for payment. The developers plan on integrating options for Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal.
“Our goal,” said Ginsberg, “is to remove all friction: from when an athlete or parents see a new session posted, [to] being able to pay and join that session.”
Utrain is available for download on Apple’s App Store.
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