Kim Kaiser knows how hard it can be to find your tribe in a new city. Being born in Spain, his international background began at the age of three when his family returned to live in Germany. A few years later, as part of his MSc in Global Logistics at KLU, Kaiser spent a semester abroad in Mexico after having previously studied in the Netherlands for his Bachelor’s. At this time, he had also spent a semester studying in Barcelona, and undertaken an internship in Madrid.
But it was that semester abroad in Mexico that seems to have kick-started Kaiser’s passion to pursue developing his own sports app, Sport12. Kim couldn’t wait to return to Mexico: “I went to Mexico because of KLU, I spent my semester abroad here in the logistics program, and I also had some business classes. I experienced a very active, lively, international city in Mexico City. I had a blast doing a semester here. Lots of things are going on, every day there are things to do, you meet lots of people, and I was always very eager to come back. Mexicans themselves are super interested in foreigners, they are very welcoming.”
From stranger to team member
Since returning to Mexico a year and a half ago, Kim has been focused on developing Sport12, which allows people to join football or tennis teams organized at local parks or sports centers. “I studied, worked and lived abroad in several different countries. I always missed this opportunity to play sports whenever I wanted,” he explained the idea that led to developing the app. “In Germany I had my friends, I had my clubs, it was easy,” Kim said. “But once you're abroad, it's more difficult. Especially in cities, it's not that common that you have your own club.”
To make his idea a reality, Kim spent a year participating in an incubator program, Startup México, which helped him with legal and financial support. “Obviously, this stuff is quite difficult in itself, and if you’re in a different country, you have no clue – so they helped me out!” Kim said.
Sport12 lists sport center information as well as scheduled games by other users. “Users can see all the sports centers in the city, select one, and call them directly to make a reservation. Once the reservation is done, they can publish their scheduled game in the app so other users can join in,” Kim explained.
At the moment, Sport12 are working with one hundred sports centers and fifty parks in Mexico as well as fifty more sports centers in Bogotá, Colombia. “Soccer is very well organized in Bogotá,” Kim said. “I am hoping that this will make it easier for us to apply the app to the soccer community there.” And if all goes well, Kim hopes to eventually bring the Sport12 app to Germany.
Next goal: Crowdfunding
Sport12 is currently available in a beta version in both Apple and Google app stores, but Kim says there are several steps which will require funding in order to launch Sport12 broadly on the market. “I like the idea of a crowdfunding campaign because it means you don’t have to up any company equity,” he explained his next step. “Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some nice rewards for our supporters.” Kim’s goal is to raise 7,500 Euro, and some of the rewards range from Sport12 shirts to trips to the Baltic Sea and holidays along the coast of Barcelona.
At the end of the day, with the Sport12 app, Kim hopes to make sports more accessible for those who might be eager to play, but don’t have a team. “The vision of the company is that everyone should be able to do sports if they want to. All ages, nationalities, everyone can participate. We have people from 18 to 55 playing together, girls and guys alike.”
And the number 12? That number is a very important part of the company, Kim said, representing amateur players who may not be professionals, but are passionate about their sport, and just want to play. “This is all about these people,” Kim said, “The 12 represents all the players that participate in the games.”
If you would like to support Kim and the Sport12 app visit his crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.