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Startup aims to bring Call of Duty-like tech to live paintball games (venturebeat.com)
29 points by ltcoleman 1297 days ago | hide | past | web | 17 comments | favorite



Why we don't see startups from 57 year old folks featured in Venturebeat?

Trust me when I say that isn't snark. In the US and elsewhere we have a large diaspora of people who held a certain kind of job for a long time, which has since been made redundant by either the economics of the business their employer was in, or the skill set they used was replaced by automation. These people nearly always have high school degrees, many have college degrees. And we hear stories about how they have sent their resume out hundreds or thousands of times without a response.

How can we motivate them to throw out the idea that they are going to find their old job at a new place, and replace it with they can create value by using their experience to solve new problems? We need folks like Venturebeat finding those people who have re-invented themselves, and made a startup in their 'grey' years to inspire these people.

We have stories of people who have been out of work since 2009, that is 5 years now this March. You can get an entirely new undergraduate degree in 5 years, especially if you skip the 'general ed' requirements. How do we motivate these people to engage?


Being 57 and starting a company isn't news worthy. There are plenty of successful, ages entrepreneurs. For example, from the tech crunches unicorn article:

"""

The average age on our list of founders at founding is 34. Yes, the founders of Facebook were on average 20 when it was founded; but the founders of LinkedIn, the second-most valuable company on our list, were 36 on average; and the founders of Workday, the third-most valuable, were 52 years old on average.

"""

http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/02/welcome-to-the-unicorn-club...

If you are asking why, people who has spent the last 10 years of their life on a job that is not obsolete aren't starting startups, its probably because starting a company requires a certain amount of skill and risk that they probably don't have. This 17 year old kid, might have been hacking with computers since he was 13 - which is 5 years of exposure, on his parents dime. I can't say that others have that luxury.


I disagree that it isn't newsworthy. I feel that it is important to communicate to people that creating a new business is something anyone can do, and while some require "connections" many don't.

I've watched over the years what sometimes seems like a concerted effort to convince people that their votes don't count and they can't get elected to office if they aren't rich or connected. Neither of these things are true but as the 'meme' takes hold people start believing it. They go passive in the face of terrible representatives.

I would hate for the same sort of effect to occur in the startup world, where people were 'trained' to believe that it was impossible for the common person to create a new business, and even trying to do so makes you look stupid for trying to do something so clearly impossible.

One way to counter this effect is to highlight people who start businesses who might be related to by someone who is reading/watching/listening to the story.


It could be just a strange coincidence but I used to own a paintball company called Gangstar Paintball. I met with JT Sports (at the time owned by Jarden Group) in Bentonville, Arkansas about selling my company to them as well as a project I was working on at the time.

It used a series of technologies in the loader to track a user, their rate of fire, the guns fps and track its location.

I have a Non-disclosure agreement with them around this technology that would be up for expiring August 2014 (it was signed August 2009 and was a 5 year agreement).

Granted this implementation varies from mine, it sounds all too familiar. I was using a series of directional antennas to triangulate the players location on a field, instead of GPS because GPS's resolution is roughly 10m.

It is safe to say 2 things: 1) This implementation will never work as they are selling it. 2) There is an eerie connection to my conversation with JT Sports and this (the paintball world is very small).

Perhaps it begs resurrecting -- if this industry can get some $$ from VC and crowd funding, my biggest problem starting up (capital) might not be an issue anymore.


Perhaps they could use iBeacons for triangulation. I haven't built anything with them yet, but from looking at the API, it seems reasonably easy.


Now here's a killer app for a ruggedized Google Glass built into some protective eyewear; radar HUD and comms. It could come with some gloves that detect when you're signalling to communicate with 'squad', 'team' and 'all' with your non-trigger hand, along with signs for pre-determined messages for silent comms without visual contact.


Here's the actual venturebeat article this post is referencing - http://venturebeat.com/2013/12/30/startup-aims-to-bring-call...


> With Overwatch, players will be able to attach their iPhones to their paintball or airsoft guns and then track the real-time movement of other players on the battlefield

Seems like it could be an expensive game of paintball if you're putting your phone at risk of getting annihilated. Are they planning on making their own components eventually or are they set on the "app" status of it?

Pretty cool idea though.


We are currently in version 2 of our rail mount prototype and will be selling both rail mounts and personal armband mounts as part of the Overwatch product line. In response to your concern about device safety, our hardware mounts will support the use of highly-protective cases like Otterboxes, Lifeproof cases, etc.


One of those burly OtterBox cases would nullify that risk pretty completely, I think.


It's great to see pre-college students pursuing technology and entrepreneurship. I didn't even view it as a desirable or viable career path until I started college. I would've appreciated a chance to get started in it at an earlier age.


That sounds like an absolute blast. I want to play with my son immediately.


yea, I think it would be a ton of fun. The concern with paint balls may be warranted but with their case it would take an amazing shot to cause phone damage. I think the airsoft angle is the real killer. When I was younger, I always wanted a videogame style play for outdoor play. This could be it.


Really clever idea, but $50,000 to bring this to market is way too unrealistic. He's going to need a lot more.

Could see this being a huge hit, though. Paintball 2.0.


The app and hardware are nearing completion, but we wanted to allow those interested enough in the product to get their hands on it before anyone else. All contributors will receive the perks they have requested even if we do not meet our 50k campaign goal.


From what I can find around the web it looks like the $50k is to get the version 2.0 ready. They've raised about $150k already to make the app and mount in beta so it looks like if you contribute you'll get your perk which is good.


It sounds like they raised ~$200k in private funding.




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