Posted on Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

Written by Dan Gillis

If you caught CBC's Dragons' Den on Wednesday October 30th, you may have seen the demo for Shnarped, a mobile application founded by SoCS alumnus Kamil Sikorski.

Shnarped Logo

Kamil graduated from the School of Computer Science in 2005. After finishing his MBA at UBC, Kamil founded Interactive Athletes Corporation. Together with cofounders Dustin Sproat and Kyle Hagel, Kamil developed Shnarped, a mobile application that connects fans to their hockey heroes. The potential of the app wasn't lost on the Dragons', who collectively invested a quarter million dollars in the company.

"The response from the Dragons was terrific; our servers were barely able to keep up with the load. It was a huge adrenaline rush.", says Kamil.

But success doesn't happen overnight. It takes "patience, hard work with long hours", and if you're lucky "great support." Kamil adds "I spent a lot of time working jobs that I didn't really like, in which I was bored, just because the money was decent. If I was to do things again, I would not show the same level of patience just for a paycheque. We are meant to do something meaningful in our lives, and that's different for everyone."

When asked about his experiences in the School of Computer Science, Sikorski recalled his time in Prof Matsakis' Image Processing Class. Beyond the content, Kamil learned the importance of communication. "It's the most important piece of any collaborative project, whether it's a course, a job, or a start-up." What advice does Kamil offer to undergraduate students thinking about launching their own start-up? "Do it! Release something as soon as you can, get others to use it, get feedback, and make it better. The best products are made this way, iterating with real customers, and building a relationship with them." He adds "School is the perfect time for experimentation. You have a wealth of resources at your disposal; classmates, professors, and tools. Take advantage of them."

Shnarped is currently the #1 app in the free sports category for iOS, and is also featured in the sports section of the iTunes store.

News Archive

News Topics