Former Finish Line execs help sports-software firm score $1M

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Upper Hand Inc., a sports-management software startup and Speak Easy alumnus, said Tuesday that it has hauled in $1 million in venture capital from investors,  including former Finish Line Inc. executives.

The company, founded in 2013, sells a suite of tools that help training academies and other sports businesses manage clients, book appointments and more. It plans to use the capital to add employees and enhance its software.

Three former Finish Line executives co-led the round: co-founder Larry Sablosky, former president and chief operating officer Steve Schneider, and former president of e-commerce Don Courtney.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Sheets Smith Wealth Management, as well as existing Upper Hand shareholders based in Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., and Greensboro, North Carolina, also participated in the financing round.

The company's previous venture round came in early 2014, when it raised $250,000 from Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures.

“Transitioning from a startup to a scalable company is a challenging phase, further magnified by the fragmentation in the sports industry," Upper Hand founder and CEO Kevin MacCauley said in written remarks. "The addition of capital allows us to invest in our team here in Indiana, but, more importantly, it strengthens our position to deliver unparalleled value to sports business owners.”

The company, formerly known as Bookacoach and Bookit Commerce Inc., had five employees before the round closed May 20. It now has 11 and plans to add another dozen in the next year, officials said.

It left the popular co-working space The Speak Easy in early 2015, moved into office space near Meridian and Vermont streets, and then transplanted operations to Morrison Opera Place in May.

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