nTrai is a young Irish startup, based in Limerick, founded in 2013 and is a hybrid crowdfunding, deals and blogging platform for aspiring athletes. It is the brainchild of David O’Shea, a former high performance athlete himself. Throughout his athletic career he encountered many funding challenges. His company nTrai hopes to provide an easy way for athletes to raise money for their training and equipment needs.
O’Shea represented Ireland in 60m and 100m sprint.
“Our aim is to make it easier and cheaper for sport enthusiasts to enjoy their sport and achieve their goals. This includes three areas for us – one: funding, two: cheaper products, and three: better information.”
As any parent will attest funding a budding athlete is an expensive business. Depending on the sport discipline parents are looking at many thousands of dollars in annual spending for their talented athletes. And that doesn’t account for the time spent transporting them to various meets and competitions during the season. In the US often the only realistic path to a college education is through athletic scholarship but it is an expensive process to get to that point.
O’Shea believes that nTrai is a solution to this issue because it allows athletes to set up crowdfunding projects on his platform, it offers discounts for training equipment while also offering brands the chance to gain visibility by supporting athletes.
nTrai has over 5,000 registered users and 12 live projects, three of these projects have secured corporate sponsors. nTrai is bringing the concept of crowdfunding to sport. nTrai is for individuals, teams, sponsors, fans. Basically anyone involved in sports and funding them. Their aim is to make the sporting experience better for everyone.
“The greatest victory was facilitating the funding to stream the Irish University Athletic Championships live. It was great and really showed our ability to improve a sport for the participants. The second was securing our first corporate sponsor. SENSORPRO sponsored Thomas and Jessie Barr and it was fantastic to see the site making a difference. Chris Byrne the owner of SENSORPRO is a very accomplished entrepreneur and seeing him like what we do was the best day in nTrai for a number of reasons – Making a significant difference for the athletes and knowing that nTrai was getting attention from players in the tech industry.
O’Shea has some big plans for nTrai. “Long term I’d love to be watching events like the Rio Olympics and feel nTrai had a significant role with some of the competitors there.”
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