Kohawks co-found Tennis Line Call App and win first prize at the Fifth Annual Young Entrepreneur Convention

Julien Duhautois Tennis App DeveloperKohawks Julien Duhautois and Uzir Thapa ’17 realized they had a lot in common when they met through mutual friends at a party at Coe College. They grew up playing tennis and loved the sport well before they played tennis for Coe together during Julien’s exchange year on campus. Since, they’ve started a company together and won the $3,000 first-place prize at the Fifth Annual Young Entrepreneur Convention. The friends and business partners presented their mobile app, Tennis Line Call App, that uses artificial intelligence to help call whether a ball is in or out in a tennis match. 

“The convention was an all-around win for us. The pitching competition was a great experience because it helped perfect our 90-second elevator pitch. I've had the chance to reuse it in many networkingUzir Thapa Tennis App Developer events,” Julien said.  

“It felt very validating to win. This project has been in the works for three years…We haven't taken off like we know we will yet, because the technology we're working on is extremely advanced and it requires a little more fine tuning. So, small wins along the way help us keep going. It boosts motivation knowing people believe in what we're doing,” he added. 

Tennis Line Call App turns a smartphone into an artificial intelligence line umpire. It detects the lines of the tennis court, the speed of the moving tennis ball and establishes the ball bounce with precision. After the phone is set up on a tripod and the app is launched, the phone tracks the ball in a match. 

Uzir and Julien are on a mission to facilitate people’s access to artificial intelligence technology in sports. The team is currently working on adding analytical features to their software to launch an artificial intelligence coaching app this summer. 

“We want anyone who loves a sport, regardless of how good they are or how much money they have, to have access to technology through their phones that only the pros normally have access to,” Julien said. 
As a computer science major, Uzir liked creating apps for fun while Julien held an entrepreneurial spirit. Because the Kohawks remained close after their Coe years, a visit from Uzir prompted Julien to share the app idea he gathered when playing tennis. 
“We sat by the side of the pool on a hot August day and I asked him what he thought about the idea. I'll remember for the rest of my life that moment when things clicked in both of our minds,” Julien said.  

“It’s great to see Julien and Uzir combining their passion for tennis with academic and technical skills acquired in the classrooms of Coe College. Their new product could resolve a major source of contention within the game of tennis,” Head Men’s Tennis Coach Eric Rodgers said.

Uzir leads all app development initiatives, and Julien handles the company’s business elements like marketing, finance and human resources. But, they manage the company’s vision and strategy together.  

In true Kohawk fashion, Uzir and Julien are opening doors for fellow Kohawks. Takamaru Miki ’22 is a new addition to the team as an app developer.

Relationships like this are nationally recognized. Coe alumni enthusiastically provide Kohawks with internship and job opportunities, earning Coe a spot as the 20th Best Alumni Network among private colleges and universities in The Princeton Review. Naturally, Uzir and Julien are looking forward to providing students with hands-on startup, business and technology experience. Those interested in collaborating with Tennis Line Call App can contact C3: Creativity, Careers, Community. 

Interested in the opportunities you’ll find at Coe? Schedule an on-campus or virtual visit to meet with an admission counselor, coaches, professors and current students at www.coe.edu/visit.

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