Incubator Feature: Roger Kingkade of Club Unity

Incubator Feature: Roger Kingkade of Club Unity

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Roger Kingkade is the Managing Director of Club Unity, which makes software that serves the private club and golf club industry.

Think OpenTable, but for golf courses. 

Club Unity is improving the tee-time booking experience for golfers and golf clubs by shifting from “clunky, archaic” software to a user-friendly option that streamlines the booking process.

Roger Kingkade teamed up with Josh Fafard, Club Unity’s Technical Director –the golf lovers were hearing about pain points from customers in their previous golf business.  

So they developed a web application for tee time reservations and it quickly gained traction within the local golf club market. 

They saw that while there had been a shift from pen and paper booking to online systems, the big innovation came from creating a software that automated things that previously required human support. 

“By shifting the responsibility to empower the end user – the golfer – we’re liberating the staff member in the golf course so that they could do more high-value activities like direct person-to-person sales or teaching a lesson.”

A community of support 

Over the past 18-months, the Platform Incubator has provided them with mentorship and guidance to grow. 

Acknowledging their strengths, and seeking advice in the other areas was key in making the most of their time in the program. 

“It was really easy to just sit down and say, ‘look I am not good at sales pipeline, sales funnel engineering, we desperately need help with that.’”

Roger says their strategy was to be as vulnerable and honest as possible – which was matched by the support of Startup Advisors and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

“These people have really given so generously of themselves to help us grow and it's heartwarming.” 

Going forward

Following their first full-time hire in 2023, Club Unity’s looking forward to growing their team. 

“Whereas before we were really excited about every new client [...] it's really turning into starting to grow a company in this incredible place and we're starting to be able to expand the workforce here.”  

Growing in Calgary is an obvious choice. 

“I think Calgary is the best place to be starting a business for a whole lot of reasons. There's great infrastructure here. There's really knowledgeable people that believe the exact same thing,” he says. 

“If you're in it, you see it. We know there's a whole lot of people loading powder into this keg. And it's going off.” 

‍Platform Incubator Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR), Nick Facey, has been working closely with Club Unity throughout the Incubator. The Incubator EiRs ask questions, make connections, and hold founders accountable to progress. They are focused on helping startup leaders achieve their highest potential. Get to know Nick:

Nick has more than 10 years’ experience in strategic development, leading teams, and collaborating with thought leaders, technology experts, and world-class developers to deliver innovative solutions.

As the Director of Human Machine Interface for Capgemini Engineering, Nick specializes in building industry solutions for automotive, manufacturing, and aerospace clients. He previously served as the Managing Producer for Unity Industry, and the Senior Director of Innovation for Finger Food Advanced Technology Group, and led the establishment of the company’s Calgary office.

He currently serves as Board Chair on the Digital Alberta board of directors, where he chairs the Advocacy, Policy and Research Committee, and was formerly on the board of DigiBC.

Nick previously worked in the BC government as Chief of Staff to several Ministries including Innovation, Technology, and Citizens’ Service.

Club Unity is part of Platform’s inaugural Incubator cohort. The Incubator provides high-potential founders with the resources and connections needed to build world-class companies. Founders work closely with an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and a community of founders to grow their business over 18 months. Learn more about the Platform Incubator.

Published on

June 21, 2024



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