“We bring the game from the field into the stands!”
That is the tag line for a new application named “Crowded,” developed by the Lexington-based mobile application studio Stadionaut. The app challenges fans watching live Major League Baseball games—whether actually attending or watching on television—to predict what will happen next. Users compete against other fans to earn various rewards and prizes. The social aspect of the application combined with real-time action and updates could turn the casual baseball fan into a loyal supporter of the Major League Baseball brand—at least, that is what Stadionaut, which is comprised of several graduates from the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, believes is possible with their first app.
Stadionaut is led in part by Scott Wagner, who graduated with a B.S. in computer science in May 2012 and Evan Leach, who earned a B.S. in animal science from the College of Agriculture in December 2011. Other graduates from the College of Engineering include Chris Allen (BSCS, 2010) and Wes Walker, who will graduate with a B.S. in computer science on December 14.
Stadionaut was launched in August 2011 after participating in Lexington-based Awesome Inc.’s startup incubator program during the summer. The basis for “Crowded” originated over the three-month program, during which they were mentored through the process of developing the idea and the business model.
“The University of Kentucky introduced us to the startup accelerator program, Awesome Inc., and continues to support us through resources such as the Von Allmen Center, iNet and its ties through Commerce Lexington,” said Stadionaut co-founder Scott Wagner.
With an eye toward making “Crowded” available for Android and iOS for the 2013 MLB season, Stadionaut representatives recently pitched their product to decision-makers at this year’s MLB Trade Show.
“The MLB Trade Show was a great opportunity for ‘Crowded’ as we were among the top baseball executives in the industry,” emphasized Wagner. “We were proud to represent the University of Kentucky and the emerging startup community in Lexington by presenting ‘Crowded’ to a national audience.”
Stadionaut won the grand prize at the inaugural iNet Venture Challenge, a business competition for University of Kentucky student entrepreneurs last March.