With all of the data flooding the athletics industry today, coaches and staff need a way to make sense of it. That is what inspired Zac McQuistan (‘04 finance) to create Impakt Athletics. The program takes millions of data points tracked on football players and makes them usable for high school, college, and National Football League programs across the nation.
“There are so many tools and data that help connect coaches with recruits, but there is no good way to validate or take insights from it,” McQuistan said. “Impakt solves that problem by organizing, analyzing, and delivering actionable information in the moment when a coach needs to make a decision.”
The sports technology startup is on to something.
In March 2017, Impakt Athletics made national headlines when the company won the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference (SSAC) 2017 Startup Competition. The company beat out a record number of applicants to win $5,000 at the conference nicknamed the “Super Bowl of Sports Analytics.”
Momentum continued as Impakt founders met with representatives of more than 40 programs, including the 2017 National Champion Clemson Tigers, and multiple NFL teams, including the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders.
The Iowa State University Cyclones are also on the list.
“We are currently in talks of testing out the platform for our football program,” said ISU football associate for quality control in special teams, Joe Houston. “The only thing every college football team has in common is time. How coaches and football staff allocate their time ends up being a competitive advantage. Impakt essentially helps us be more efficient with our time.”
Houston is excited to work with McQuistan on the product. “I know I’m one of many Cyclones that is proud to have an alumnus develop this platform. Having Zac be the godfather of Impakt will have tremendous impact on the game of football for years to come.”
The partnership with Iowa State comes at a good time, as McQuistan moves from Seattle, Washington, back to his home state of Iowa where the company is incorporated.
“When I graduated from school, I wanted to stay in Des Moines, but all of my job offers came from larger cities. Since then, I’ve always wanted to bring the company back home to Iowa.”
McQuistan looks forward to working with his alma mater on improving Impakt Athletics and also is anxious to get involved with the new entrepreneurship major in the College of Business.
“I think it is fantastic they’ve added this major. Entrepreneurship will teach these students how to get the most out of the least that they have. You have to be creative. That is what entrepreneurship is about,” McQuistan said.
He credits his finance degree from Iowa State for his ability to evaluate, not just the company, but also all of the different problems that he and co-founder Jason Brescia face on a daily basis.
“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and now I am. If there is anything I can do to help these students get there, I want to be a part of it.”
To learn more about Impakt Athletics, visit www.impaktathletics.com.
-by Amanda Severson