The NBA's 2015 Most Valuable Player, Stephen Curry, is hoping to score off the court with an new sports start-up: The guard for the Golden State Warriors has taken an equity stake in a private coaching company called CoachUp.
The idea? Think Uber for coaching. The company seeks to match aspiring athletes with top-level coaches through its online and mobile platforms.
Curry says joining the company was a natural fit. "It's part of my story and how I developed my game," he said. "I wouldn't be where I was today without receiving private coaching," he added.
The two-time NBA All-Star says that when he was in his teens, he received private coaching and it transformed his game. "I still keep in touch with my former coach," he said.
CoachUp was founded by Jordan Fliegel in 2011. He started the company with the hope of helping others achieve their athletic dreams. Fliegel said that private coaching changed his life and he wants to give that opportunity to other kids.
"Sports provide a great vehicle for confidence and character," he said.
Today, CoachUp has more than 15,000 coaches whom it has matched up with more than 100,000 athletes across the country participating in every sport from soccer, basketball and golf to dance and fitness.
And these aren't just any coaches. More than 500 of the coaches on CoachUp are professional athletes from the NBA, WNBA, MLS and NFL. Big names include Nate "Tiny" Archibald and 1977 Rookie of the Year Adrian Dantley. Fliegel also has current players that are coaching from nearly every Major League Soccer team.
Each coach sets his or her own price but most coaching sessions cost from $40 to $100 per hour. Coaches are vetted with background checks and are insured.
The company has raised $9.35 million in funding to date, but Fliegel says they are just getting started.
"There's a massive opportunity here," he says. "We just need to continue to get the word out," he added.
Curry says that in addition to his equity stake, he's actively involved in the overall direction of the company. (He declined to say how big a stake he'd taken.) While he's not offering his own coaching services yet, he doesn't dismiss the idea that he may someday.
"There might be some special package one day," he says.
Aside from new business opportunities, Curry says his recent NBA Finals win has opened a lot of new doors. He recently played 18 holes in Martha's Vineyard with President Barack Obama.
"I told the president he could use some coaching on the links," he said.
CORRECTION: Stephen Curry won the MVP for the regular season in 2015. That fact was misstated in an earlier version of this article.