Founder Series: Andy Muir, co-founder and CEO of Coach Logic

Left to right are Andy Muir and Mark Cairns of Coach Logic (by Stewart Attwood)
Left to right are Andy Muir and Mark Cairns of Coach Logic (by Stewart Attwood)

Following the recent article “Coach Logic team reaches 10 and prepares for next funding round”, we caught up with CEO Andy Muir to tell us more about the company.

What does your company do?

Coach Logic is a collaborative video analysis platform that guarantees time saving and player engagement through targeted distribution of key coaching points for interactive player-coach engagement.

Coach Logic users can analyse a full match together in less than 10 minutes. A process that normally takes the coach hours, without guaranteeing player engagement. 

What do you do there / what is your role?

I’m a co-founder, alongside Mark Cairns, and the CEO.  The role is pretty varied, but the main focus for me is strategy and the commercial direction and growth of the business.

What is your background?

I worked as a Sports Coaching and Sport Science lecturer at Edinburgh College, whilst also holding a number of coaching positions in rugby clubs in Edinburgh.  Mark and I developed the idea and released Coach Logic whilst still working in our former jobs, and over time moved into work on the company full-time.

Mark and I met playing rugby to together at Currie RFC. Mark is now head coach of the club that has re-branded as the Currie Chieftains.

What was the aha moment that led to the company founding?

We were in the position as players, teachers and coaches of being able to see the problem with how video analysis was a frustrating process taking hours to complete and that the players weren’t part of the process and getting the same opportunity to learn.

We took this frustration and matched with our teaching and coaching experience, developed Coach Logic, and effectively flipped the analysis process.

Now, teams of all levels and sports can get huge amount of value out of video in about 10% of the time it normally takes.

Why did you launch the company?

Ultimately we wanted video analysis to be seen as another opportunity to coach as opposed to a time heavy and technically challenging process where 1 person locks themselves away in a dark room for 4 hours before returning to tell everyone what they’ve learned.

Where did you get assistance when you started?

We don’t have a technical background, so to get Coach Logic off the ground we worked with a local web development company. We were fortunate enough to receive a grant from Scottish Enterprise, which ultimately allowed us to get started.

Aside from that, we were encouraged by the feedback we were receiving from our coaching network around the idea.

Give us a brief history of the growth of the company

We started off Coach Logic whilst still working in education so made use of our extensive holidays.  I was joking the other day about changing out of my tracksuit after work in my car to be dressed more appropriately for a business meeting!

Today we now have 10 great people working across product, sales, and marketing helping us to continue our growth beyond our ever-increasing customer base.

Have you taken any external funding? If so from who and when?

To date, we have has raised £1 million including from investment group Mercia Asset Management’s EIS Funds, the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, and a number of private investors from the UK’s business and entrepreneurial scene.

We have also benefited from some of the funding available from Scottish Enterprise that has helped us move things on at crucial stages.

So what does it look like now with regard to staff and turnover?

We have a team of 10, and have increased our turnover by 1.5x on the equivalent period last year, whilst landing some key contracts along the way.

What’s the difference between when you started and now in your marketplace?

The market is more educated as to the value of video as an asset to be used for positive reasons rather than simply pointing out mistakes.  Matching this up with the understanding of the amount of knowledge the athletes, as well as the coaches, hold and generally how powerful and digestible video on a smart phone is, means there’s a real appetite to utilise Coach Logic as part of the ‘Off-Field’ coaching process.

What is your target market –  Who is buying your product / service? 

Head’s of Sport and Coaches who see the value in video as a learning tool, but are time poor, get a huge amount of value and satisfaction out of using Coach Logic with their squads.

Those working in Coach and Game Development are benefitting hugely from investing in improving their workforce in an effective, efficient and cost-effective manner.

Our growing customer base includes Governing Bodies such as England Rugby who use Coach Logic to enhance the learning experience of coaches going through their Level 3 qualifications, leading schools such as Fettes College, Edinburgh Academy and Whitgift School who use Coach Logic across multiple sports and A Level and GCSE PE.   We also have international customers that include Chicago Red Stars and Glendale Rugby who both play in their respective Major Leagues in rugby and soccer in America.

What are your goals for your business?

We believe that working closely with coaches, coach developers and educators, and always having the athlete in mind, Coach Logic will continue to have a significant impact on improving on and off field performance that will support the creation of better people, better coaches, and better players.

What are your biggest current challenges?

On a personal level, trying to take a step back more often to have a more strategic mindset is always a challenge at our current level as it’s really easy to get sucked in to the day to day. 

However, I’ve been trying to address this by reading more (books rather than screens) and reaching out to the business community where there is a lot of expertise and willingness to help and share their success stories and bumps along the way.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

It’s a fairly constant challenge, but a big one for Mark fairly recently was building our product team. He’s done a great job of this, which involved conducting a lot of interviews, resulting in us having a room full of great people, who are skilled at what they do and an appetite to constantly improve themselves.

What do you do outside work?

Spend time with my wife, Claire, and 2 young kids, Jamie & Lucy, at the weekend doing family activities. Other than that I enjoy hanging out with mates, going to live sport events, and trying to keep an exercise routine going, or hoping I’ll find some time to get some golf played.

What do you know now that you wished you had known earlier?

It will take more time, and you’ll need more money than you think, and that whilst you can learn a huge amount from your mistakes, remembering that success leave clues!

What’s the secret to good leadership?

I don’t know about a secret, but the element I believe is hugely important and am trying to work hard on and be better at is communication. 

It’s too easy when I have a lot on my mind to get lost in my own world and think that everyone is clear on why we’re doing what we’re doing, but improving communication should be a constant work in progress.  

This links back to my point earlier about making the time to step back on a regular and deliberate basis.

Where do you see the company in five years?

Coach Logic should be synonymous with creating and supporting positive and impactful learning environments within sport.

How can the Scottish startup/entrepreneur landscape be improved to help more businesses start up and grow?

My understanding from businesses operating outside of Scotland is that we’re very fortunate to have the various government initiatives and grants that are available, so it would be great to be able to simplify this and continue to increase awareness of what’s out there.

What is really powerful is just how willing people in the business community are to take time to have chat and share experiences.

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