GamePlan Tech gets new CEO, "has more biz than we can handle"
Jul 2, 2014
Omaha July 2, 2014 by Carson Vaughan
Following a second-stage equity-financing round led by non-profit venture capital firm Invest Nebraska last October, Omaha-based GamePlan Technologies says it’s pleased with the results. "This is not dumb money," CEO Bruce Lichorowic told SPN. "This is not money that just comes and goes into your bank account and 'Good luck, see you later. ' This is smart money that comes with an experienced crew. They’re very effective at working with founders, working with fellow investors and they’re a very good team. "
Though the terms of their deal remain confidential, Invest Nebraska CEO Mark Crawford says their involvement allowed GamePlan to finish off their product line and expand the GamePlan team. "We were able to leverage some of our money into new technology, a new hiring plan and going after new markets," Crawford said. "Our funding was also intended to expand into new products, so we’re pretty proud of that investment. "
Currently a 10-man team, GamePlan "has more business than we can handle," Lichorowic says. To meet demand, they’re looking for a slew of new hires. "We are looking for dot NET engineers. We’re looking for channel people. We’re looking for sales people. We’re looking for them all," he said. "I have to start building a customer service team in Omaha, an installation team out of Omaha that can handle phones, training—all those things. "
But thanks to Invest Nebraska, he says, he’s been introduced to a strong pool of talent in the Omaha and Lincoln area—especially engineers. "I think Nebraska has a good talent pool for a lot of engineers, and I think that’s one of the areas that we’re going to focus on is to increase our engineering base, and use that money for that. "
Lichorowic himself is part of the new hiring plan. Originally a GamePlan consultant, he was later asked to serve as acting CEO after former CEO Dave Glover resigned. Having left in good standing, Glover is now the senior vice president of sales and marketing at MediaSolv Solutions Corporation , a GamePlan reseller based in Herndon, Va. Prior to consulting for GamePlan, Lichorowic (right) was a serial entrepreneur for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley, and later formed Trak Surgical, Inc., an Omaha-based surgical device company boosted by Invest Nebraska funding. "(Lichorowic) was able to secure roughly $4 million in follow-on capital after our $500,000 investment [in Trak Surgical] in less than 18 months," Crawford said. "So he was extremely successful in bringing that Nebraska-based medical device from point A to point B, and we feel very comfortable that he’ll be able to do that with GamePlan, as well. "
Established in 2002, GamePlan Technologies originally developed instant replay and video managing software—called SIFT—marketed towards sports organizations. Recognizing a crowded market, the company has since repurposed SIFT for use in law enforcement and criminal prosecution. "The real secret sauce of that digital asset management platform is that it helps companies retain the chain of evidence, which is extremely important for prosecuting cases of criminal activity," Crawford said. Most district attorneys and other law enforcement officials currently store their evidence for trial on CDs and DVDs, Lichorowic says. The GamePlan software allows users to securely store and view all of their files on one platform. :A district attorney can go to court with anywhere from 16 to 25 CDs, but this is all now going online," Lichorowic said "And that’s a big difference. Turn on his computer and he can show the jury the entire thing going forward without having to stop one CD, do another. Stop one, do another. "
Both GamePlan Technologies and Invest Nebraska view the software as "disruptive technology" and point to their lack of competition as proof. "We’re kind of the only act in town right now, in part because there’s nobody out there with a video codec like ours," Lichorowic said, referring to the way their software compresses digital video. "It’s such a new product and it’s such a new market. "
"This is one of those rare cases where I had orders coming in faster than we could deliver," Lichorowic added. "So we have a high class problem. "