SFU track and field alumni are helping high school athletes access more post-secondary athletic opportunities
By Pauline Leoncio
High school athletes across Canada can now make better decisions about their athletic futures.
SFU track and field alumni Alexandre Paré and Brett Montrose just launched Streamline Athletes, an online platform connecting high-school student athletes to an extensive database of U.S. and Canadian post-secondary athletic and academic programs and scholarships.
The founders are life-long track athletes who met on Simon Fraser University's National Collegiate Athletic Association track team.
While they were both fortunate to attend university for sports, they witnessed the many hurdles other young athletes faced when trying to find the best post-secondary options. This inspired them to create Streamline Athletes for both athletes and coaches. The founders say the current recruitment system is riddled with roadblocks, often resulting in a high post-secondary transfer rate and missed opportunities to pursue both athletics and education.
Montrose, co-founder and managing director of operations, says the startup "strives to give high-school athletes and their families the information they need to find opportunities and make confident decisions about their academic and athletic futures. Our vision is to empower athletes for a life without limits.”
Using the platform, athletes create a profile identifying their performance results, financial budget, academic information, and additional accomplishments. They can then browse and filter through university programs, access team pages, and connect directly with collegiate coaches. Parents and guardians can also create an account to support the recruiting process.
Paul Trustham, parent of a student athlete says, “Streamline Athletes has been extremely helpful in navigating the plethora of universities for our son. Their website has fantastic information when researching universities.”
The company is currently incubated at Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection? at SFU Surrey, where the founders receive mentorship and have a private office for their team. The founders also won the SFU Alumni award at the 2019 Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize, SFU's largest entrepreneurship competition.
Over the past year, Streamline Athletes team has grown from two to 10 employees, comprising developers, sales leads, data analysts and finance/accounting administratrators. They have even hired SFU co-op education students.
Currently, says Montrose, "There are more than 1.3 million high-school track-and-field athletes around the world, but only five percent end up competing at university."
Streamline Athletes, he adds, can improve on that percentage. The platform outlines the many scholarship and walk-on options available for athletes of all levels, tackling the misconception that only elite athletes can pursue post-secondary athletics.
The company also supports university coaches in their recruitment process by pairing coaches with athletes who meet recruitment standards and are more likely to accept an offer.
Paré, co-founder and managing director of strategy says, "On average, coaches reach out to 40 to 50 athletes, meet with 15 individuals, and schedule campus visits with five candidates before signing just one of these athletes to their team."
Streamline Athletes takes care of the top recruitment funnel so coaches can spend their recruiting time with highly interested recruits instead of 15 or 45 uninterested athletes.
In comparison to other university recruitment platforms, Streamline Athletes dives deep into track and field data—offering a sport-specific approach that understands the distinct needs of a middle-distance runner versus a football quarterback, for example. And while the fledgling platform currently provides just track-and-field-specific information, they continue to include more analytical tools for both athletes and coaches.
Current users say Streamline Athletes’ secret sauce is their sport-specific focus. Nick Kucey, user and track athlete says, “It really separates Streamline Athletes from the rest of the university recruitment platforms.”
Today, the platform continues to expand, recently adding more than 300 new post-secondary institutions to its roster. Parents looking to guide their student athlete through university applications can now start using Streamline Athletes thanks to the newly added account functionality for parents and guardians. In the future, the company hopes to expand its services beyond track and field while retaining a sport-specific approach.