dot.LA Summit: Former Dodger Shawn Green on Transitioning From Athlete to Startup Founder
After a baseball career spanning 14 years, former Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Shawn Green decided it was time for a pivot.
Instead of targeting the typical route for former pro athletes and opting to become a commentator or analyst, Green chose to found Santa Monica-based Greenfly, a startup that provides a cloud-based media file sharing platform for a range of clientele from sports teams to retail stores.
Co-founded with CEO Daniel Kirschner, who previously served at Activision Blizzard as head of corporate affairs, Green launched Greenfly in 2014—a decade after he ended his season with the Dodgers.
“I always loved tech, so I figured I know, I want to reinvent myself and explore new things,” Green told panel host and Metropolis CEO Alex Israel at the 2022 dot.LA Summit regarding why he chose to start Greenfly. “The light bulb went off [and I thought] so why don't we become a [software as a service] company, and license our tech to sports networks.”
The 1999 Gold Glove winner and Stanford alumnus said he had dabbled with several startup ideas prior to settling on Greenfly’s concept.
“The first big thing we did was March Madness, and we did a deal with CBS and Turner,” Green said. After that trial run, Greenfly linked with Turner to fully license its software. Green said Greenfly works with the “top 10 biggest sports platforms in the world,” including the NBA, MLB and NHL.
Greenfly’s software platform lets users share files across social media, as well as capture and create content in the app. It also integrates with other content services like Getty Images and Dropbox. The company’s customers include the Dodgers, the San Jose Sharks and Paris Saint-Germain in addition to a number of consumer brands, including massage gun retailer Hyperice.
During the panel, Israel asked Green what key lessons he learned from pro baseball helped inform his career as a startup founder. “The most important thing I learned is you fail a lot,” Green said. “That’s helped a lot with my mindset as a startup, because there’s all sorts of things happening, all of a sudden things flip on a dime.”
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