Two UW-Eau Claire alumni are the co-founders of Sport Ngin, a Minneapolis data startup recently sold to NBC Sports Group for an undisclosed amount.
Justin Kaufenburg, a 2003 economics graduate, and Carson Kipfer, a 2004 graphic design graduate, were already operating their own businesses when they met in the residence halls as undergraduate students at UW-Eau Claire. In 2001, while still students, they rented space and started a company that provided graphic design, web development and video production for Eau Claire-area businesses. The two eventually developed a website tool for hockey organizations call Puck Systems, and things grew from there.
Following graduation from UW-Eau Claire, Kaufenburg and Kipfer moved the business to Minneapolis, where fellow Blugold grad Greg Blasko (2004, management information systems) joined the business, which became TST Media in 2006. As TST Media, the growing company — including numerous UW-Eau Claire alumni on its team — reworked the Puck Systems platform to accommodate all sports, naming their new product Ngin. In 2013, TST Media went through a branding consolidation and became known as Sport Ngin.
Today, Sport Ngin is the nation’s largest provider of web software and mobile applications to manage youth, amateur and professional sports, with more than 500,000 sports teams, leagues, clubs and associations using the platform. Kaufenburg is Sport Ngin's CEO, while Kipfer is the principal designer and Blasko is chief technology officer.
A recent Minneapolis Star Tribune story reported on the sale of Sport Ngin to NBC Sports Group. Also read a past story, reprinted from the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, and a Q&A with Kaufenburg and Kipfer, both of which appeared in the fall 2012 issue of The View, UW-Eau Claire's alumni magazine.
Photo cutline: This 2012 photo shows UW-Eau Claire alumni who were working at the time at TST Media, renamed Sport Ngin in 2013. The Blugolds in the photo include, starting fourth from the left, partner Greg Blasko '04, co-founder Justin Kaufenburg '03 and co-founder Carson Kipfer '04.