PIQ: Looking at the Future of Sports through the AI Lense
For as long as athletes have existed, so has the need to sophisticate, optimize, and revolutionize their performance. Thanks to technology, global athletes witnessed the drastic revamp of the sports industry - and for the far, far better.
Pitching in with their own take on sports, Cedric Mangaud and Ongan Mordeniz joined forces to design PIQ, a platform turning sports into more than just a game!
PIQ is the bridge connecting sports and technology. Called the next-generation sports tool, PIQ elevates every athlete’s personal results to new heights. It uses a combination of smart sensors to monitor, assess, and measure an athlete’s performance during training sessions. Using a refined nano-computer that tracks real-time results, PIQ’s smart sports sensors speak every athlete's language!
Taking the business road less traveled by, here’s how Cedric and Ongan stayed ahead of their competition and kept every wannabe and expert athlete on the right track!
Cedric Mangaud was born in France in the mid-70s, in a middle-class family. Cedric spent most of his childhood hiking with his father and taking adventure trips together. As a result, Cedric developed an early and unshakeable relationship with the outdoors. Aside from basic physical activity, Cedric and his father also played various sports and enjoyed watching the latest soccer, tennis, basketball, and golf games. Growing up, Cedric took great interest in technology and electronics, but neither caused him to lose his love for training. Thanks to his mother, Cedric learned how to use a computer, both to watch sports and learn.
Around the same era - in the 70s - Ongan Mordeniz was born in the far Orient, in Turkey. However, Turkey was a less than ideal place for a young kid to grow up, so Ongan’s parents began a search for a better life and moved to France in the early 80s. Much like Cedric, Ongan grew up loving computers, technology, and sports. Whilst sports were a mere pastime activity for Ongan, he took his technology seriously and began coding from a young age.
Masters of Tech
Fully aware of his growing tech talent, Cedric decided to pursue a respective career and enrolled at the University for Technology and Science in Paris. For the ambitious student, the years of professional growth flew by in no time, but he was far from being done studying. After acquiring his university degree, Cedric deepened his appetites for knowledge and enrolled at the Institut Superieur de Gestion, where he studied from 1995 to 1998 and ultimately earned a Master's degree.
Following his studies, Cedric went job hunting. He first scored a COO position at a service and management company called Namebay. He remained with the company for a year, after which he focused on developing an individual business. Cedric founded his very first company soon after. It was a mobile and software solution platform, called Abaxia. This is also when Cedric first met Ongan.
Ongan’s road to success was quite similar to Cedric’s. He attended the same university as his future co-founder and he went abroad to continue his education in 2001. Ongan earned his Master of Science in Telecommunication and Media degree from the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, located in Germany, in 2003.
Right after graduation, Ongan began working as an intern at a company for research and development of Internet and Mobile solutions, called SK Telecom. Following his internship, Ongan moved on to another tech company, Technical, where he stayed for three years before he learned about Abaxia. After attending a seminar held by the platform, Ongan met with the company CEO, Cedric, and after the latter offered him a position at his platform, the two immediately hit it off, both as professionals and friends.
Time for PIQ to Shine
Cedric and Ongan made the ultimate business tech duo. They spent hours on end collaborating on different projects and shared a fascination with AI, advanced electronics, and developing community-oriented products. Despite their professional brainstorming sessions, Ongan and Cedric realized they also shared the same love for sports, and this brought the duo even closer together.
One day, after watching a game on TV, Ongan and Cedric realized there was a huge gap in technology that all sports could make use of. With the intention of merging sports and tech into one functional whole, the duo decided to be more than just sports fans and actually contribute to making the experience better, for both spectators and especially athletes. After conducting thorough research in the industry, the twosome developed their first business concept, called PIC Robot.
The Revolutionary Platform
At the arrival of 2015, Cedric and Ongan were immersed in designing their first platform prototype. It was a newly discovered sports nanocomputer that used technology and sophisticated sensors to measure the performances of athletes.
However, although the duo had the idea in their pocket, they lacked the funds to actually build it. Without a financial plan at hand, the two inventors decided to postpone the platform’s creation for better days.
The better days came when Cedric allowed HTC, a prominent company at the time, to acquire his first solo company, Abaxia. As both were left jobless, HTC offered the two businessmen positions in their rows. Thanks to this shift of pace, Cedric and Ongan were able to both work and repurpose the acquisition funds to build their joint platform. PIQ was officially launched to the market in 2015 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The platform design aims to precisely measure and record all viable data on an athlete’s sports performance. The platform uses remarkable technology that helps save up to 11 million data information - in just one hour. Unlike many other different trackers for activity and performance, PIQ’s sensors can track not only an athlete’s health biometrics but also sport-specific data that help enhance one’s performance.
Utilizing the PIQ Robot, any professional athlete, amateur, or sports enthusiast can scan and estimate their efficiency and improve these based on the findings. The platform operates in a variety of sports, including boxing, golf, kiteboarding, tennis, football, rugby, and more. PIQ uses a highly functional and wearable device designed to be worn on a strap.
This way, any sports performer can be connected to the smart device and therefore analyze and record their results after each training session or professional match. With it, athletes can take note of their weakest and strongest performance links and can make suitable adjustments to optimize their results.
Today, the platform’s main offices remain located in Paris, France. The company has expanded on the European, Asian, and US markets as well. Its advanced robotic design has made the company one of the fastest-growing startups in France, especially in the field of technology.
Now, the company has more than 250 employees working hard to catch up with the latest technology advances and implement them into the already modern nanocomputer design.
Over the years the company has been able to attract the attention of four investors, raising a total amount of $5.5 million in funding, completed over two funding rounds. The company’s biggest investing names include Swisscom Ventures, Ginkgo Ventures, Foxconn Technology Group, and Robolution Capital.
Although their angels were of tremendous help, especially in a financial sense, Cedric and Ongan still remain the driving force that pushes PIQ to be bigger, better, and stronger. Combining their two greatest loves - one for sports and one for technology, Cedric and Ongan proved that childhood dreams can be anything but naive.
With the right amount of talent, dedication, as well as an avant-garde approach, Cedric and Ongan introduced a new generation of AI-boosted sports wearables that accurately showcase the factors that turn ordinary athletes into winners!