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Roy Hotrabhvanon: Follow Your Passion

PlayerData is a sports data company, revolutionizing the way athletes train. Our mission is to give athletes of all levels access to the latest in wearable technology, and bridge the gap between amateur and professional. Our core values are that of accessibility and progress so we are always developing and finding new ways to help our customers.  

PlayerData started whilst Hayden and I were still at Uni. At the time I was working on motion sensors to improve my performance in Archery, with Hayden building a ECG monitoring suit. It was by chance that we found out about each other’s projects and decided to combine the two. We challenged ourselves to upend the status quo in sports, making technology previously only available to the elite accessible for all who wanted it. I had the support and passion of my co-founder, Hayden, so it was a no-brainer really. Having that competitive edge and drive to prove that what we had created was something that could change the way athletes of all disciplines could train was really all it took – that and the commitment to dedicate as much time and energy as possible into the idea.  

Roy Hotrabhvanon (CEO & Co- Founder) – Hayden Ball (CTO & Co-Founder) 

It really is just about having the conviction that your idea can help people and committing to it. It will change and adapt but so long as you have a passion for what you’re doing you’ll find a way to make it work. That’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur. There is no right or wrong way to do – it’s just about facing the ups and the downs and persevering. Of course, I’ve had moments where I’ve worried about whether PlayerData will succeed, and those moments can be really tough, but when you push through and start to see all your hard work paying off it makes every late night and every set back worthwhile.  

The current job sector is a really difficult place to be right now. I should know – I had to start my own company to get a job! The whole concept of a career has changed a lot in recent years though, there is no longer a 1:1 relationship between a certain degree and a type of job. Employers who would typically hire out of a specific discipline are now looking further afield for candidates who can bring different skill sets. Naturally this makes it difficult for students to visualize a clear career path but opens up more opportunities that would have previously been closed off. My advice would be to always try and do something you are passionate about, if it happens to be to pursue your own ideas and create a business – go for it! 

Beth Gray (COO)  – Roy Hotrabhvanon (CEO) – Exhibiting as part of the Scottish pavilion at Mobile World Congress 

In terms of skills, it’s really quite simple. You need to have motivation and the drive – for any route.  And a thick skin I suppose. Also having the dedication to see it through and being able to adapt yourself to the various challenges you will face. Other than that, I think it’s less about the hard skills and more about the passion that pushes you to learn or find talent in others, and the sheer determination to make your idea work. Of course, people skills do come in handy too! 

As someone who went straight from university into becoming co-founder and CEO of a startup, my words of advice are ‘go for it.’ I had no idea how this would turn out, but you’ll never know until you take the chance.  And that goes for everything! 

– Roy Hotrabhvanon, Playerdata

Don’t miss Roy in conversation with Quentin Cooper on Thursday 6th August!

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