Making it Work

Galway sports tech firm looks to build on deals with Premier League and NBA teams

Precision Sports Technology raised €100,000 though an accelerator programme in Austria last year

Emma Meehan, founder of Precision Sports Technology: ‘We have found a huge interest in our system in the professional sports environment because right now they are trying to measure movement quality’

Precision Sports Technology plans to launch phase two of its offering, which will be targeted at athletes and physiotherapy patients, later this year, having already landed contracts with leading sports teams.

The sports tech company, set up in 2021 by Emma Meehan, a graduate of computer science and information technology from the University of Galway, provides a software system that users pay for through a subscription.

The company, which is currently working with physiotherapists, is based in Galway out of the ATU innovation hub.

Precision Sports Technology uses LiDAR technology (depth-sensing cameras built into the iPhone or iPad Pro-models) and AI to collect human movement data.

Data collected during the exercise session is stored in the cloud, meaning practitioners can access the data anywhere, anytime to discover key insights.

I was working on it evenings and weekends as a side hustle while I was working in a multinational

“Essentially, if someone is doing rehab for physio or exercise in the gym, or strength conditioning for a professional sports team, they can set up the iPad, do their exercises, and our app can tell them in real time whether they are safe or performing them correctly, and inform their practitioner on whether they are progressing or if there is anything the practitioner needs to be aware of and jump in and intervene,” Meehan, founder of Precision Sports Technology, said.

“We have found a huge interest in the professional sports environment because right now they are trying to measure movement quality . . . what we have found is that our software system is above 95 per cent the accuracy of motion capture labs, but you get the results in less than 1 per cent of the time – all you need is the iPad.”

Fact File

Company: Precision Sports Technology

Founded by: Emma Meehan in 2021

Staff: Eight

Meehan, who competes in Olympic Level weightlifting, started working on the project for the company in 2018.

“I was working on it evenings and weekends as a side hustle while I was working in a multinational, until 2021, when the company was founded,” she said.

Last year, the company raised €100,000 though an accelerator programme in Austria called the Hummelnest Accelerator Programme. It was the one start-up out of 320 in Europe to be offered this investment.

Prior to that, it received €100,000 in the pre-seed start fund from Enterprise Ireland. It has also received in the region of €100,000 so far in angel investment.

Last year the company went from having just Meehan on staff to employing eight people full-time, including five engineers, a sales lead, and an operations lead.

It launched its product for customer pilots in October.

Verifying the accuracy

“The previous year and a half was just all development, verifying the accuracy of the system, raising funds, getting the business plan together. Right now our plan for January and February is to start getting paying customers on board on the system,” Meehan said. “The version we have now is version one, which is specifically for physiotherapists and sports scientists.”

The company is launching phase two of its offering later on this year, which will facilitate the remote monitoring of patients and athletics.

As part of the expansion, the software will deliver real-time feedback to athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and patients as they are performing exercises. Users can self-correct mid-set without the manual intervention of a fitness or healthcare professional.

“What is key to note is that our technology at its core is sector agnostic. We are closing our pre-seed round now to target the sports market, and then from our seed round in 2025 we will be shifting our focus to physiotherapy and commercial fitness,” Meehan said.

In addition, the company will be looking to convert customers that it has lined up in the United States and across Europe, she said.

“We have teams signed up in the NFL, the NBA, the Premier League in Britain. It is a matter now of making sure the software is meeting all their expectations and then getting them fully on-boarded.”

Enterprise Ireland has been “instrumental” in helping the company get to where it is now, according to Meehan.

“When I was leaving the multinational at the end of 2021 all I had was a coding background and a passion for this problem,” she said.

She joined the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers Programme at the end of 2021, which involved six months of full-time coaching on everything from business development to market research, business planning, and financials.

“I essentially completely pivoted the main idea for the business based on that New Frontiers Programme and we were able to get €22,500 in initial funding, which made it much easier to transition from full-time work into running the company myself.”

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland