Recap of the CWA Summit

29 05 2008

At the beginning of this month I was in Boulder, Colorado for the second annual Climbing Wall Association Summit. Last year most of my goals for the summit were chosen to help me understand the climbing industry and the potential market for climbing wall management software. I didn’t yet have a commercial product ready to sell, but I was interested in finding out if anyone else might buy it.

This year I went all set to do some selling, with business cards in hand featuring a sweet logo and a link to ClimbPoint.com. While I didn’t settle on a price point until my first night in Boulder (more on that in a future post), I still felt prepared to offer an ‘official’ copy of my software to those who were interested — and I was even recognized as a vendor at one of the workshop sessions.

My primary goal for the conference this year was to decide how I wanted ClimbPoint to grow over the next year. Should it begin incorporating features that commercial gyms need, or should it grow into a ‘perfect fit’ for climbing wall management at universities and community centers? My perception prior to the conference was that the commercial climbing gym market was substantially larger than the university/community center market, so I was prepared to begin wooing commercial gym owners.

However, I ended up meeting quite a few climbing wall managers from universities, and all of them sounded like perfect candidates for ClimbPoint. They were also interested in trying out the program right away, and thought it could be immediately useful at their climbing wall. This was in sharp contrast to many commercial gym owners, who were only willing to test the program once it could track and complete sales.

I learned a lot about the state of climbing wall management software, which I hope to post about soon. I also met some great people, got to do some climbing in Boulder, and to top it off won a pair of FiveTen climbing shoes at the closing raffle!

Even though I deliberated for a while about going, I’m glad I made the trip this year. I feel like I have a clear picture of where I want to take ClimbPoint in the near term and am confident that the niche market I’ve chosen will at least allow me to break even for the first year.

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16 10 2008
One year of starting up « Another Startup

[…] Attended my second Climbing Wall Association Summit – May 2008 […]

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