A local fishing tech company is now looking to expand throughout the state and elsewhere, starting with a pilot program at a Middle Tennessee high school.
Connect Outdoors, an affiliate member of the Innovation Lab at East Tennessee State University, is currently working to build a high school fishing and tournament platform for Mount Juliet, Tennessee, High School, using its ConnectScale fishing tournament platform.
The platform uses technology described by the company as a “smart fishing scale” that combines wireless technology and a mobile application to digitally record catch data.
In order to get this pilot project going, the company recently enlisted the help of nationally renowned outdoorsman and champion fisher Garry Mason, the founding head coach of the Bethel University Bass Fishing Team and founder of the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame.
“We’re building software to help tournament anglers, and the tournament management system will allow clubs and organizations like high school fishing teams to manage their tournaments,” CEO and President Ben Arnold said. “He’ll be providing guidance as we build off that product.”
Mason will also help the company develop the Connect Outdoors Tournament Trail, provide assistance implementing and running operations of the membership organization and assist in acquiring high school and college customers for the tournament platform.
“I like working with innovative companies. The ConnectScale tournament platform and the company’s vision for future products complement my view of intelligent use of technology in fishing,” Mason said recently of his work with the young local company.
The company, formerly known as ConnectScale LLC and based in Blountville, partnered with ETSU in April and is now known as Connect Outdoors Inc. Arnold said the tech company hopes to develop platforms for fishing tournaments elsewhere in the future as they look to “graduate to that next level.”
“One key aspect of our growth is our hires and partnerships across the state of Tennessee. Scott Morris, our vice president of tournament operations, is located in Middle Tennessee’s Nashville area and was (also) key in getting Mt. Juliet Fishing Team on board,” Arnold said, adding that Mason’s additional role as executive director of Northwest Tennessee Tourism will help them “make an impact statewide.”