What Small Company made 2013’s NCAA Final Four Possible?
Over the past few weeks we have had a couple of guest speakers who where working at companies they had started up from scratch. I found an article on Businessweek.com by author Ashlee Vance on April 5th, 2013. It was about a young company from Seattle, Washington called Smartsheet and how their impact made the 2013 Final Four come together with ease.
The Georgia Dome and the city of Atlanta will host the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2013, for the third time since 2002 (Final4atlanta.com). An events manager with Populous, named Marc Klein was a key rule in making sure everything with the Final Four would go as planned. Klein’s main duties were to make sure everyone showed up at the right place and right time so hundreds of thousands of observers could view a few basketball games. The planning for the Final Four started three years prior and consisted of 63 separate schedules that where saved to an online event management system. This system is called SmartSheet, which allowed schedules to cover transportation, duty time of the security guards, and who covers signs and decors all be planned on one system with several different schedule types.
Smartsheet has over 26,000 customers who use its software to schedule projects like weddings, youth sporting events, and day-to-day work. It was founded in 2006 by a former Microsoft executive named Brent Frei. Smartsheet competes against the power house Microsoft, which has similar systems like Dropbox, Box, Asana, and Yammer/SharePoint. The familiarity of the spreadsheet task manager, and built in tools communicate via email is what has given Smartsheet the edge.
What once was a start up software is now being used to help coordinate the world’s biggest sporting events. Populous, a Kansas City (Mo.)-based sports architecture and sports event specialist, plan and handle their other events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics. Populous has a very successful background with ties to the Super Bowl and the Olympics and has really helped the growth of Smartsheet.
This is a quote on SmartSheets website, talking about the Final Four:
“SmartSheet allows us to articulate a clear strategic plan and develop an agile business plan that actually simplifies a variety of best practices including Risk Management, HR Management, Budgeting, ITC, Marketing, Reporting, etc as we scale our operations.”
Here is the link to the Company’s Page:
Here is the link to the article:
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Written By: Jamie Nordby