Consultant Scores With Web Efforts

November 27, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — With virtually no marketing, the second of local technology consultant Brian Anderson’s software-as-a-service Web applications is taking off on a global scale.

“I built the system, told my friends, and then I started seeing people use it I don’t know. Then I started getting users from all over the country and the world,” said Anderson, a practice manager at technology services firm NuSoft Solutions, which has no involvement with Anderson’s side ventures.

Anderson is currently in conversations with various other Web site proprietors and Internet firms interested in an affiliate program or private-label use of his Pay It Square technology (www.payitsquare.com). A soccer hobbyist, Anderson noticed a consistent problem with his weekend recreational leagues: The team captains were responsible for paying an upfront team fee of $800 or more, and it would take them months to collect the funds from the players on the team.

“There was no systematic way to keep it organized,” Anderson said. “And most people don’t carry their checkbook around with them anymore. I thought I could find a way to make it easy.”

Anderson created payitsquare.com as a vehicle for players to pay online with credit cards or PayPal, while allowing team captains to notify players via e-mail when a payment is due and manage the collection at a glance. While originally designed for soccer leagues, the application quickly was adopted by other leagues and various other activities that require pooled funds, such as vacations and gifts.

The new venture is building on Anderson’s ongoing success with Tourneytopia.com, a bracket management system launched three years ago in partnership with another NuSoft developer, Joel Ross.

“We saw what CBSSportsLine was doing and realized there was a market for private-label bracket contests,” Anderson said. “We built this system to help manage the whole process.”

Tourneytopia, operated by Tourney Logic LLC, creates private-label tournaments and bracket contests. The venture has landed clients such as Playboy.com, which uses it for an annual March Madness contest, and tennis.com, which runs 16 highly trafficked bracket tournaments, including one for every major and a number of minors.

“It’s been growing organically,” Anderson said. “I typically don’t have time for the marketing piece that I would advise my clients at NuSoft to do.”

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