SevenSix – The Alpha of Tennis

SevenSix - The Alpha of Tennis Trond Kittelsen

In the search for enterprising companies, we come across the innovative and highly advanced services offered by SevenSix. They are one of the leading visionaries, offering unrivaled services to enhance your game and become nothing but the best.

They integrate the latest technology such as AI, etc. into their services, which offers instant and comprehensive feedback about your game, strokes, accuracy, and much more. They are enabling the professionals and beginners to leverage this to level up their game and perform their level best each time.

In conversation with the CEO of SevenSix, Trond Kittelsen. Let’s get to know more about SevenSix, what led him to create such a unique company, its services, and his professional journey.

Brief us about SevenSix, what inspired you to start SevenSix?

The idea behind SevenSix tennis sparked from a serendipity meeting at French Open in Paris back in 2016. I met with one of the best technical tennis coaches in the world. He brought me ringside to the heart of Roland Garros where he teamed up with the best female tennis players at the time. His story about tennis, challenges, and opportunities, and his problem to scale his tennis coaching knowledge ignited my entrepreneur DNA.

This weekend inspired me to help tennis players improve their game in a new, engaging, and effective way. For the next 6 months, we conceptualized SevenSix tennis, and I jumped off the corporate path where I was a director of a telecom company in Norway.  

Being a tennis player and tennis dad myself I experienced that the tools and tennis coaching are not too engaging, and I also wanted to give tennis players to get visualized coaching from the best tennis coaches in the world. Up to now, this has been a possibility only for the few with big coaching teams and a tech lab.   

What are the products or services SevenSix focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?

When we started building SevenSix there was no other concept that could provide instant technical feedback on your game without being in a laboratory with sensors, expensive cameras, and coaches. There were some great applications out there, but they were somewhat manual, meaning that coaches had to draw lines and explain the technique and send it back via email. Also, the products available were harder to scale and monetize. 

SevenSix hypothesized that we could build AI software propped with the knowledge of the best tennis coaches in the world only with an iPhone. A perfect storm was rising, giving us access to AI technology and computer vision technology, also with more advanced mobile cameras. Cloud computing gave us the chance to scale the technology worldwide with a mobile-first approach.  

So, we got the technological breakthrough in March 2020 proving our initial hypothesis that we could help 50 million tennis players accelerate through accessible, affordable world-class AI-powered video coaching.  

Our competitive edge lies in being the first in the world to use AI to help tennis players and coaches improve technique instantly. The concept is built on AI, computer vision, machine learning, audio physics, and complex mathematics to calculate rotation in time and space. We have also been working closely with Apple’s engineers to enable on-device processing. This helps to reduce the processing time by 70% and gives us an edge in developing racket and ball detection.   

Even though the technology is very complex, we have put much effort into making the app easy to use for the mass market in tennis.

Please tell us about SevenSix’s team.

Our team is our greatest asset! Going a few years back we tried to locate the brightest mind to solve our technological challenges. We tried and failed a couple of times. It was only when we found the right people at the right place, the right time, that we achieved the technological breakthrough. 

There are only 5 people in our core team. They have a diverse background in AI and machine learning in the health vertical, are highly creative, and relatively young with a background in creating music and gaming apps. The 3 of us are also very passionate tennis players. 

Please also take into account that no other company has done what we are doing, and we have spent many years in research and development mode, also trying and failing before we found the sweet spot both in terms of the tech setup, but also the business side, 

SevenSix is organized as a hybrid team with satellites in several cities around the world, no big expensive offices but working from innovation environments where we share resources and get inspired from each other. The fact that covid changed the world did not change the way we are working. Having said that, we miss traveling to tennis tournaments and having more face-to-face meetings.  

I also want to use this opportunity to thank the tennis coaches and players that have helped us build SevenSix. Their knowledge, inspiration, network, and efforts made a difference.  

Also, our investors and advisory board are providing valuable competencies in business, economics, and law.  

Please brief us about your professional experience.

I see myself as a creative and business-focused serial entrepreneur. I have traveled the world, studied in France, and have a global mindset. Nothing is impossible! I have also worked in corporate environments solving technological and mobile communication challenges for the world. My experience has given me the possibility to work with some great brands like Nokia, Motorola, Diageo, and Microsoft. 

What are the key achievements of your business journey?

Being an entrepreneur, you are a high-speed problem solver. I believe we have learned more than a person working his whole life in a corporate environment, only in a year. So many obstacles, opportunities, and strategic decisions must be made all at once. It is hard to pick the key achievements, but surely when we found the product/market fit. 

SevenSix experienced that their app was spreading to the whole world in weeks, now sold in 183 countries in 4500 cities around the world. Also being a small start-up company from Norway, being able to sign a global contract with Wilson the biggest tennis brand in the world is something I am proud of. In Q2 2022 Wilson customers will buy tennis rackets with our AI Coach to improve their technique instantly. Tennis is just a start, and we will branch out to other sports soon. 

Any client experience you would like to highlight?

We are thrilled to read our user’s testimonials discovering that we can help so many tennis players and coaches.  

Feedback like; 

 “Arguably the best training app in the game. I and my teammates’ progression because of this app have become tremendous “ 

Marcus, Tennis Player. 

This gets our hearts pumping, and we get even more motivated to continue our journey.  

I also get engaged when our software discovers that the kinetic chain in tennis serve from a top 10 ATP player is not perfect, potentially leading to injuries or a less efficient stroke. Seeing the reaction from the best tennis coaches in the world, who cannot even spot this with slow-motion cameras is also inspiring.

Which one is your favorite quote?

I recently read Phil Knight’s story about how Nike became what they are today, and there is one quote that I can relate to. It is about challenging the status quo. The quote from Douglas MacArthur “You are remembered by the rules you break”. 

I get inspired by people who bend the rules of technology and business to innovate. Musicians, engineers, athletes, and architects that create something defining, pushes the limits. Also, a quote from Billy Jean King, “Pressure is a privilege” is a good one. For me, pressure situations in sport and business create energy to achieve your goals.

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