Startup Stories: BallerTV

BallerTV Co-founders Aaron Hawkey (left) and Robert Angarita (right)

Innovate Pasadena: Tell us a little bit about yourselves and your business; what inspired you to start BallerTV?

Robert Angarita, Co-founder: Aaron Hawkey [co-founder] and I have been business partners since graduating from La Salle High School in 1996. Despite him becoming a Bruin and me a Trojan, we’ve been able to launch four startups together. After we sold our last startup, Cramster, to Chegg in 2010, we decided to focus on an area we were equally passionate about — sports.

We experimented and pivoted with a few sports-related ideas before ultimately discovering a massive opportunity with BallerTV. Today, BallerTV is the leader in amateur sports coverage with live streams, replays, and highlights of top amateur sporting events. As parents ourselves, we won’t rest until every parent has the opportunity to watch their kids play through our platform.

IP: When did you start and how have you grown since then?

RA: BallerTV started in January 2016. We have a founding team of 10 and today we are 35 employees across three offices.

IP: What challenges have you experienced with the business?

RA: Being a tech startup in Pasadena, it can sometimes be a challenge recruiting talent from Silicon Beach, but we have a solid history of keeping them once we get them to move here.

IP: Pasadena is considered a city of innovation. What kind of resources have you been able to find and use to support your business here?

RA: Aaron and I have been involved with Caltech as Associate Members for many years now. In Aaron’s case, he spent countless hours as a kid playing basketball at the Caltech gym. We’ve since developed key relationships at the school and have been able to recruit five Caltech engineers as part of our founding team.

It’s also been amazing to watch the evolution of Innovate Pasadena with all the resources that are offered today. I still remember it starting out as a group around a single table at Jones Coffee. Andy Wilson invited me and has been super supportive throughout the years.

IP: Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about starting their own business in Pasadena?

RA: It’s never been easier to get started with so many quality co-working spaces in the city now.

IP: Bonus question, what are your favorite eats around town?

RA: There are plenty of amazing dining options but I will share my personal favorite breakfast spot: Yahaira’s Cafe on Colorado Blvd is an absolute gem.

Special thanks to Robert Angarita for sharing the story of BallerTV, live and on-demand streaming service dedicated to amateur athletes.

Innovate Pasadena aims to advance greater Pasadena as a center for technology and design innovation by supporting collaboration across and within business, academia and the broader community.