Mike Rolih

Rochester's Tech Startup GoRout Selected as Finalist in NASA iTech Competition

Photo courtesy of GoRout.

Photo courtesy of GoRout.

Rochester company GoRout was selected as one of only ten competitors for NASA’s prestigious NASA iTech competition. NASA iTech, an initiative of the organization’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, challenges entrepreneurs to apply their technology to solve pressing issues related to space exploration.  Ten finalists remain in the competition , including GoRout, and will present their ideas at the upcoming iTech Forum in Sunnyvale, California on July 10-11th. Chief technologists from NASA, additional federal agencies, and industry will then select three winners from these finalists for the 2019 NASA iTech Cycle I competition. The ten NASA iTech finalists span a range of industry including medical, data, and materials. The three Cycle I winners will receive no monetary compensation but will gain on-going mentoring to help commercialize their product.

 Congratulations to GoRout and best of luck in the competition! GoRout, run by CEO Mike Rolih, is a Rochester-based hardware and software company eliminating the need for huddles and scout cards. GoRout’s technology works to improve on-field communication for hundreds of high school and small college football teams across the US. GoRout won the NFL’s 1st and Future startup competition in 2017. CEO Rolih was also named among SportsTechie’s 20 Innovators in 2017.

Tech Startups GoRout and EverGreen to Present at Next 1 Million Cups Rochester


Join the entrepreneurial community at the next 1 Million Cups Rochester on Wednesday, September 6th from 9-10AM in the Bleu Duck Kitchen Event Space. This month we have two entrepreneurs from the tech scene telling their story: Mike Rolih with GoRout and Louis Abramowski with EverGreen.


About GoRout

GoRout is a hardware and software tech startup based in Rochester, Minn. GoRout creates on-field wearable products to enhance communication between coaches and athletes during football practice at the high school, college, and professional level.

Launched in: 2014

Presenter: Mike Rolih

Industry: Information/Communication Tech

About EverGreen

EverGreen is developing a media marketing product to help small to medium sized businesses schedule Facebook and Twitter content.

Launched: 2016

Presenter: Louis Abramowski

Industry: Other/Technology


About 1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program developed by the Kauffman Foundation. 1 Million Cups takes place every Wednesday at 9AM across 133 US communities to support and encourage entrepreneurs. The program is based on the idea that entrepreneurs connect and discover solutions over one million cups of coffee.

Tech Entrepreneurs Mike Rolih and Kenneth Ngah to Speak at Rochester Rising Community Celebration

We are very excited to announce the two invited speakers for our first birthday party and celebration of the Rochester entrepreneurial community: Kenneth Ngah and Mike Rolih. Our community celebration will take place on Wednesday July 19th at 4:30PM at Grand Rounds Brew Pub. Click here to purchase your ticket by July 12th.


About Kenneth Ngah- Founder of WandaGuides

Kenneth is a season web programmer, hailing from Cameroon, who has been in Rochester for the last ten months. This tech entrepreneur founded the startup WandaGuides to encourage tourism in Cameroon and connect tourists with government recognized travel agencies. Kenneth began his career performing web contract work and building websites in several different countries without ever having to leave Cameroon. He served as Community Manager of a coworking space in the city of Buea, called ActivSpaces, where he helped to create entrepreneur-focused events and connect with the local university system. Kenneth and a team of entrepreneurs helped to build very specific tech communities in Cameroon- including JavaScript and WordPress focused hubs- to increase the local skill set and bolster tech development. He also helped to directly place students into internships with developing startups in the community to teach immediately transferable skill sets.


About Mike Rolih- Founder of GoRout


GoRout is a two-year-old hardware and software startup based out of The Vault in downtown Rochester. GoRout developed football’s only on-field wearable technology that allows players and coaches to communicate instantly and efficiently. Mike- a former professional baseball player, Division One baseball coach, and baseball scout- originally set out to build a baseball stats platform, but the idea took too long and was not headed in the intended direction. He landed the original seed money for GoRout while driving a limo between Rochester and the MSP airport. The GoRout team believes in failing fast and learning fast. During Global Entrepreneurship Week last year, GoRout held the first ever sportstech product launch from Rochester unveiling their newest product, an in-helmet, heads up display called Vue-Up. This February, GoRout earned national attention by winning the “Communication with the Athlete” division in the NFL’s 1st and Future Competition in Huston over Super Bowl weekend.

Thanks to our generous community partners for making this event possible.

Press Release: All American Games and GoRout Announce an All-American Partnership

ROCKAWAY, NJ (April 20, 2017) – All American Games today announced a partnership with GoRout, the on-field wearable playmaking technology for football teams across the country.

GoRout is the only playmaking technology that combines intelligent software and on-field wearable products to enhance practice for high school, college, and professional football teams. U.S. Army All-Americans will use GoRout products to help players track their practice performance and perfect their game.

GoRout brings several different products to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. One of the products to be included is Vue, football’s only on-field display technology worn by players. With Vue, coaches send digital play calls, coaching tips, and assignments to every player instantly. Players select their position, see the play, and execute perfectly.

At the NFL’s 1st and Future Competition at Super Bowl LI, GoRout was named the “Most Innovative Athlete Communication Technology” in football. In addition, GoRout was awarded “Product of the Year” by Football Scoop in both 2016 and 2017. GoRout is currently being used by some of the best high schools, FCS/FBS colleges, and professional football teams in America.

For 18 consecutive years, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has been the nation’s premier high school sporting event and serves as the preeminent launching pad for America’s future college and NFL stars. Odell Beckham Jr., Andrew Luck, Patrick Peterson, Adrian Peterson, Ezekiel Elliott, and Christian McCaffrey made their national debuts as U.S. Army All- Americans. A total of 330 U.S. Army All-American Bowl alumni have been selected in NFL Drafts. The 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl drew a record crowd of 40,568 to the Alamodome and was watched by more than 5 million unique viewers on NBC.

For more information on GoRout, visit gorout.com and noscoutcards.gorout.com. Connect with all GoRout activity at fb.com/gorouttech, or at the official Twitter (@Go_Rout) and Instagram (@Go_Rout) accounts.

For more information on All American Games, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and its related events, visit usarmyallamericanbowl.com, goarmy.com/events/aab, allamericangames.com, and footballuniversity.org.

Connect with all #ArmyBowl activity at fb.com/ArmyAllAmerican, or at the official Twitter (@ArmyAllAmerican) and Instagram (@armyallamericanbowl) accounts.

For more information contact:

Mike Ulatoski

All American  Games

[E] mulatoski@allamericangames.com

[O] 973 2981103 [C] 203 808 6601

Rochester's GoRout Makes it Big in NFL 1st and Future Competition

GoRout Founder Mike Rolih launching Vue-Up during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

GoRout Founder Mike Rolih launching Vue-Up during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Rochester based football hardware and software startup, GoRout, earned themselves national recognition over the weekend. The team won the “Communication with the Athlete” division in the NFL’s 1st and Future competition in Houston this Saturday, bringing home $50,000, two tickets to Super Bowl 51, and entry into the Texas Medical Center Accelerator program.

The NFL’s 1st and Future competition was presented by TechCrunch, one of the biggest names in online startup and technology news sites, in collaboration with Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Startups pitched their ideas to an audience of NFL owners and executives the day before the Super Bowl in one of three categories: “The Future Stadium,” which involved products that enhance the experience of spectators at live sporting events; “Bringing Home the Game,” which included products that enhance ways that live sporting broadcasts are consumed at home; and “Tomorrow’s Athlete,” which encompassed products that address the performance and safety of athletes.

GoRout is based right above Grand Rounds Brewing Company in downtown Rochester and run by Chicago-native Mike Rolih. GoRout developed football’s only on-field, wearable technology that enhances communication between players and coaches. Their products- Steel 2.0, Vue-Up, and Vue 2.0- are used by football teams from the high school to the professional level. GoRout launched their latest product Vue-Up, football’s first in-helmet, heads-up display, right from Rochester during Global Entrepreneurship Week to a packed house.



Congratulations to Mike and the GoRout team for this major success. And thank you for representing Rochester’s startup community, especially outside of medicine, on such a platform.

“GoRout is an amazing example of a Rochester based company that exemplifies the next generation of local tech startups. Mike and his team have crafted a world class tech business right here in Rochester.  Congratulations to GoRout on this fantastic achievement,” commented Jamie Sundsbak, Community Manager at Collider Coworking, a hub for entrepreneurs in downtown Rochester.

It seems that one of the best kept secrets in Rochester is finally getting some well-desired attention. 

GoRout Launches Football's First In-Helmet Display Right from Rochester

Last night GoRout, a Rochester-based football hardware and software startup, launched their newest product, Vue-Up, during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Vue-Up is football’s first in-helmet, heads-up display, which will change the way that players and coaches approach the sport.

Vue-Up is a lightweight, military grade display that is embedded into the helmet, allowing for instant communication between players and coaches and enabling each player to see the exact route they need to run for each play. Vue-Up has a 1280 x 720 bright HD display with the largest focal plane ever for this type of product. Vue-Up comes with a 4MP instant-on video camera, capturing the viewpoint for each player on the field. The device is also voice controlled and learns and identifies individual voices through artificial intelligence.

GoRout also announced the release of GoRout Air, their newest update to on-field networking. Now you can just turn on any of their products anywhere in the continental United States, and it’s ready to go. No more routers or syncing required.

And all this was developed right here in Rochester, Minnesota.

Congrats to Mike Rolih and his team on this latest success and thanks for letting us all be a part of it.

You can read more background about Mike and GoRout by clicking here.

GoRout Unveils Newest Product at Rochester's First Ever Sports Tech Launch Tomorrow Night

GoRout, a football hardware and software startup, is one of the best kept secrets in Rochester. This two-year-old company developed football’s only on-field wearable technology that allows coaches and players to interact and communicate more efficiently. GoRout launched their beta product to sixty-five football teams, from the high school to professional level. Tomorrow evening, they’ll unveil their newest product at a public launch party right here in Rochester during Global Entrepreneurship Week. And they’ve done it all from a small office space above Grand Rounds Brew Pub.

It takes a lot of pluck to be an entrepreneur, as GoRout’s Founder Mike Rolih well knows. Mike’s story is one of those that is so crazy, it just has to be true.

Mike first moved to Rochester from the Chicago area with his wife six years ago. At the time, he owned a consulting business, which he later sold. Mike had strong ties and connections in baseball; he actually played professional baseball and was a Division One Baseball coach and a professional baseball scout. After moving to Rochester, he started building up a baseball stats platform with a friend that would communicate information instantly to the players on the field. In the end, the platform took much too long to develop and was not really headed in the intended direction.

“But this whole idea of transferring real time information to people on the playing field was something that really kind of struck my eye and something that I really started diving into and I really had no idea how to build it,” Mike explained.

Mike had always been a tinkerer. When the baseball platform didn’t pan out, he started learning to write code to better understand how to create his vision. So he started coding and building small machines at home, which as you can imagine, was not so great for his wife.

“And at this point my wife had had enough. She wanted me out of the house. …And I had nothing to do. So I took a job driving limo, running people back and forth from Mayo to the Minneapolis airport.”

Ironically, limo driving might have been the best gig he ever landed. The entire time he was driving, Mike was also pitching ideas to anyone who would listen and ironing out the finer details in his head.

“You’d be surprised how many people you meet,” he said, which included famous people like Jay Leno. “They’re just normal people. You just strike up a conversation with them.”

One day, the former CEO of Motorola stepped into Mike’s limo and happened to love his idea. After a few trips to and from the airport, Mike asked he if could give this man a call at some point for mentorship. The former CEO agreed. Two months later, Mike tinkered around enough to develop a very rough prototype. He called the man on the phone and the former CEO flew on his personal jet to Rochester in five hours.

“And he wrote me a check for $300,000. That was our seed fund. And from there we kind of hit the ground running.” Mike took the money and bought a ticket to China, where he spent the next ninety days building the initial version of the first GoRout product.

GoRout fills a very specific niche in the sports world. And really no company, anywhere, is doing what they are doing.

 A large amount of time, effort, and strategy goes into preparing for a single football practice, at any level of play. Coaches have to actually sit down and draw out plays on cards, which can be upwards of 200-400 cards for the week. At the Division One College Level, this could take five to seven hours. Once on the field, these play cards are kept in a large binder and held up when a play is called. All the players on the field have to be able to see the card to know what play to run, which often involves running back and forth from the field to the sideline, taking away valuable practice time.

“So the attention span, the ability to see a card depending on where you're standing, the inefficiently of actually having to come in the huddle and listen to a coach point out ten other guy’s responsibilities before he even gets to yours, all of these elements add to a significant amount of time lost in between reps,” Mike explained.

GoRout developed products that increase communication between players and coaches during practice and allow more reps to be run. Using GoRout Steel software, coaches can more easily draw and instantly change plays. GoRout Vue is football’s only wearable display technology, allowing players to see plays on a device strapped onto the wrist and know exactly what route they need to run without ever going into the huddle or running to the sideline.

Without GoRout technology, teams may run about one play per minute during practice. But with GoRout, you “just hit a button and send the information out,” keeping all the players on the field, relaying information faster to every single player, and allowing cycling in of more players.

Instead of running maybe 10 reps in 10 minutes, with GoRout teams can run 35 to 50 reps in that same amount of time at a much higher quality.

“There are so many coaches that still try to teach 21st century players with late or early 20th century technology. …Kids today…they’re interactive. They’re individualized. And they’re very tech savvy. And if you’re not using products that can speak to their learning style, which is inevitably going to be visual to some degree, then you’re losing a major component of what you’re trying to achieve.”

Since GoRout’s start in 2014, they’ve had a lot of successes. But they’ve also had a lot of failures.

Call Taylor at (507) 424-3648

Call Taylor at (507) 424-3648

GoRout fits a very specific vertical in the sports tech field, which no one else was filling, and solves a problem that no one else quite knew how to solve. They really are the only ones operating in their defined space, which has allowed them to experiment, take some risks, and just try some things out. Some of these risks have led to failures, something that the GoRout team doesn’t fear, but actually embraces as a learning opportunity.

“We really believe in failing fast. Fail faster than anybody else. Let’s not be afraid to put something out there, have it not work, and figure out why,” Mike explained.

The initial version of the GoRout product actually never even got off the ground. Last year, they got their alpha version out to fifteen teams around the Midwest, which was largely a success. But they realized they had to make significant changes to their product. Instead of giving up, GoRout accepted it as a learning experience and an opportunity to completely re-engineering both their hardware and software, now with a better understanding of the customer.

GoRout failed fast, and learned fast, in part because every bit of their company was created here. “We design everything in house. Everything […] designed right here in this room. Our software, written and designed right here in Rochester. Right in this room.”

These rapid lessons helped them launch a successful beta product this year to fifty different football teams.

Now it’s time for the next step. GoRout will launch their latest product, live, tomorrow night during Global Entrepreneurship Week at Bleu Duck Kitchen. The event will be a first for Rochester.

“[People] should expect to see something they’ve never expected to see before. They should expect to see a product that people want in a lot of different industries, but it’s never been created. …They should expect to learn about a very small, nimble, innovative company that has their offices above a brew pub, that sells internationally, that none of them have ever heard of.”

If you are located in Rochester, don’t miss this event tomorrow night. Can’t make it? GoRout will be live streaming the product launch on their website.

Want to hear more? There's a special audio clip available for Patreon supporters