What is your business?
We’re PlusOne Sports, creators of a new sport called FlingGolf. Instead of taking a bag of golf clubs to the golf course all you need is a single club, which we call a FlingStick to play the whole game.
Who are you?
We’re Alex Van Alen, Founder and Creator, and Steve Bloom, General Manager.
Is there a story behind your business?
I (Alex) was introduced to golf courses with a ridiculous and active game created by my father and uncle we called monkey golf. With cousins, parents, brothers, dogs and friends, we would head out in the late afternoon on a local course in Maine and play 5 or 6 holes, one club for each player, largely making up the rules as we went, and with everyone getting a chance to participate. We weren't that quiet and we weren't that good! But a golf course was a fun place to be.
While there are many reasons to get kids and athletes out on a golf course, fun is where it starts.
Several years ago, I bought a used Jai-alai basket, grabbed some golf balls, and took them out to a soccer field for a throw. I knew right away that, with the spins and arcs of the flying ball, and my ability to make all kinds of swings and shape the shots, I had a fun new sport in my hands.
What problem(s) are you/your business trying to help solve?
We’re trying to make “golf” more accessible and fun for the younger generation. We use the analogy of snowboarding and skiing; both sports can be enjoyed at the same time at the same venue. We’re also helping golf courses target the younger generation which isn’t interested in playing much golf. FlingGolf can play at twice the pace of traditional golf and takes much less time to learn which is appealing to many people.
How is your company changing the world?
We are getting people thinking about doing things differently.
Why do you like being a part of the bigger CI Works puzzle?
CI Works provides a great environment for manufacturing, networking, and collaboration. We started off as an early tenant and have grown into a larger space over the last year.
What do you hope your company’s next milestone will be?
As we continue to scale and get accepted across North America, we hope to grow much more overseas.
What’s cool about your team?
We’re pragmatic, diverse, and driven.
Alex has spent the majority of his career working the conservation and recreation fields. Prior to starting PlusOne Sports, he was the CEO of an organization that was instrumental in bringing the first sled dog race in 30 years to eastern Massachusetts, attended by over 10,000 people, as well as developing a popular running, kayaking, horseback riding, and mountain biking event.
Steve has founded and co-founded many start-ups. His past experiences encompass military (combat), medical and healthcare, software, hardware, and non-profit sectors.
Are there any causes you are passionate about? We’re both environmentally conscientious re-using materials and keeping our overall carbon footprints minimal. We also support veteran organizations and animal causes.
What is your proudest accomplishment? We are incredibly proud of creating a new sport that people love.
What advice do you have for other small businesses?
We made a concerted effort when we started to automate as many of our back-end processes as possible. This allows us to focus on growing the business rather than on running the business.