Monster Pitch finalist: Athletes Pursuing Excellence

This is the fourth in a series of four stories featuring the finalists of Monster Pitch, the annual student business competition hosted by the Goodman School of Business student club Brock Innovation Group. This year’s competition will be held in the Goodman atrium on Friday, March 1.

Athletes Pursuing Excellence has a simple goal: to help athletes reach their full potential.

The team, made up of Kinesiology students Matt Kowald and Chance Mutuku and Business student Max Budgey, created The Athlete’s Journal as a tool to help athletes work on their mental focus. The team will highlight their business idea at Friday’s Monster Pitch competition.

“Often, the mental aspect of sport performance is neglected, with time usually spent on the physical and technical aspects,” Kowald said.

“We believe that reflection is a foundational element of success across all disciplines, especially in athletics. While techniques and training habits vary, the core act of reflection is relevant across all sports.”

The journal includes items that have been proven to be successful, such as daily gratitude practice, affirmations, visualization reminders and mindfulness meditation practice reminders.

The team members are all wrestlers who train at Brock. Kowald first pitched the idea to Budgey and Mutuku in November 2017. By April 2018, the team had their first beta version ready for trial. The final journal is a result of more than 80 elite level athletes, Olympians and coaches using it and providing feedback that has made the final product more effective.

“The thing about the journal is that it won’t work unless you do,” Budgey said. “So, we expect the athletes that purchase it are passionate about what they do and reaching their full potential.”

To ensure customers make the most out of the journal, the team is creating a digital success path that will create a community among users and help establish triggers to make journaling a habit.

“We think the idea of mental training is where the idea of lifting weights was 20 to 30 years ago; it’s a burgeoning frontier to be explored in athletics and we want to be at the front of that wave,” Budgey said.

While the journal was under development, the team worked out of Goodman Group Venture Development (formerly BioLinc) daily, using staff and other entrepreneurs as sounding boards.

Athletes Pursuing Excellence has already sold 50 copies of the journal and are working with athletic organizations and coaches to get the product into the hands of more customers. The books are made in Canada on recycled paper and will last an athlete roughly three months.

The company has also established a Grants for Growth fund, committing 10 per cent of all profits to support other athletes.

“We’ve had a lot of support from our community and we want to give back,” Kowald said. “There’s a bigger voice and bigger purpose behind the company. It’s about helping others.”

The sold-out Monster Pitch event is hosted by Brock Innovation Group in partnership with the Goodman School of Business and Goodman Group Venture Development and is sponsored by Spark Power Corp.

This year’s judging panel includes: Bruce Croxon, co-host BNN’s The Disruptors and CEO of Round 13; Allie Hughes, CEO and Founder of marketing agency H&C Inc.; Deborah Rosati, Corporate Director and Founder and CEO, Women Get On Board; and Jason Sparaga, co-founder and co-CEO of Spark Power Corp. and founder of Spara Capital Partners.

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