Recipient: Stathletes Inc.
Region: St. Catharines
Total funding allocated: $100,000
Every hockey player wants to know their numbers: baselines, comparisons, shots made, minutes played, assists. Coaches pour over analytical data to give their teams a competitive edge. As stats and data continue to influence decision-making, the market for sports analytics is growing. For Meghan Chayka, co-founder and co-CEO of Stathletes, understanding these numbers is her passion, and by harnessing the power of big data, she’s made it her business.
Meghan Chayka, her brother John Chayka (currently the General Manager of the Arizona Coyotes hockey team) and Neil Lane, founded Stathletes in 2010 to disrupt an antiquated system of data collection in professional hockey. Using proprietary video tracking software, Stathletes pulls together thousands of performance metrics per game and compiles analytics related to each player and team. These analytics can provide baseline benchmarking, player comparisons, line matching, and player and team performance trends. Stathletes currently tracks data in 22 leagues worldwide and sells data to a wide variety of clients, including the National Hockey League (NHL).
Beyond team development, the data that Stathletes' software collects contributes to the viewer’s enjoyment and understanding of the game. For example, during the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Korea, Stathletes supplied data for the landmark women’s hockey tournament for use in CBC’s coverage of the games, enhancing the coverage with graphics and quantitative facts to substantiate the commentating.
As a growing technology company, Stathletes is constantly acquiring new resources, whether it be capital, statisticians, engineers or software developers. Thanks to the funding provided by FedDev Ontario through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund, Stathletes has been able to increase market research into additional European leagues, upgrade its software platform with help from professors at the University of Waterloo, and attend international hockey events.
Meghan’s journey in a highly male-dominated arena has taught her that standing still is not an option. She was recognized with George Brown College’s The 5 to Watch Sports Business Executive award (2019), the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Top Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2018) and is a data scientist resident at the Rotman School of Management TD Management Data and Analytics Lab.