The venture from SFU grad Alexandre Pare and his team is on the short list for a $10,000 prize
Alexandre Paré went to SFU on a track-and-field scholarship in 2010 as an 18-year-old from Sherbrooke, Quebec, with no ability to speak English.
It turns out that was a relatively minor hurdle. While in Quebec in the summer of 2013, Paré suffered a car accident that required eight surgeries and a hospital stay of more than 100 days. He’d spend the next four years in rehab and would never run competitively again.
But when he returned to SFU a year later, his track coach welcomed him back to the team. His task: recruit athletes. It wasn’t too tough a job for Paré , who used his Quebec connections ably and brought runners across the country. But he also couldn’t help making some observations about college recruitment in general.
“The athletes had a hard time getting noticed,” Paré says. “They’d come to SFU because nobody was recruiting them—and these are the top athletes in the country.”
On the other side, Paré’s coach was overwhelmed with trying to bring athletes to the school.
“She would talk to tons of people and, after spending hours with them, would find out they didn’t have the minimum grades to be at SFU or that they wanted to go to med school, which we don’t have at SFU,” he recalls. “So she was wasting her time in many cases.”
When Paré started taking a closer look at the recruitment business in 2016, he saw some things that troubled him.
“It was sort of like car dealerships; agencies would charge a lot of money to the athletes, and they would often do all the sports,” he says. “And we all know a long-distance female athlete has different needs than a quarterback.”
So Paré and fellow SFU athlete Brett Montrose founded Streamline Athletes in 2017 to make it easier for athletes to find programs and coaches, and vice versa. The online platform, which focuses exclusively on track-and-field athletes, puts them in its network. It also earns the vast majority of its revenue from organizations using the product (athletes can use the free version to get their profile on the site and have conversations with two coaches, or subscribe to the unlimited version for $135 a year).
By early 2019, Streamline had a partnership with every province in Canada and had finished a first investment round. A week ago, the company moved out of SFU’s Surrey campus to an office in downtown Vancouver that houses 12 full-time employees. It’s also started to extend service to the U.S.
Now Streamline is hoping to raise more funding via the Enactus Canada National Exposition and its $10,000 prize. One of the competition’s 12 finalists, it’s the only contender based in B.C.
Paré says that if he wins, he’ll put the funds right back into the company: “In terms of where we are in growth, it won’t allow us to double up in employees or anything,” he explains. “But it would help us be able to do a bit more marketing, reach out to more athletes and be able to help them.”