Business student lands internship with local software company backed by Microsoft
Pablo De La Guardia Criado (Business, ’21) speaks often with his family back in Madrid, Spain. Considered one of the epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak, Spain has begun to ease lockdown restrictions. De La Guardia Criado says knowing that his family members have remained safe throughout the crisis has helped him to focus more on his work here in Maine.
These days, De La Guardia is keeping busy by taking classes online and performing tasks for a new internship he recently started with KinoTek, a software company based in Portland.
De La Guardia Criado met KinoTek’s founder, Justin Hafner, when Aimee Vlachos, Ed.D., assistant lecturer in the Sport Management and Recreation program, invited him to give a talk in her leadership class.
“Justin started his company when he was a senior in college,” Vlachos stated. “He was really inspiring to the students because he is only 23 years old and he just graduated in 2018, so they found him very relatable.”
“He was so secure about himself and just naturally captivated you with his story,” De La Guardia Criado explained. “He started with just a concept and idea, then he was able to bring in people with certain skills and turn that concept into a real business.”
KinoTek’s software gives athletes a full-body analysis and determines where they are prone to injuries. Microsoft Corporation has partnered with the company, in an agreement valued at over $100,000, to support KinoTek in accelerating the release date of its beta launch.
The company’s product has special appeal to De La Guardia Criado, an athlete playing for UNE’s basketball and soccer teams. The software is designed to help coaches, athletes and medical professionals prevent and overcome injuries.
“I think it is going to totally changed the sports world,” De La Guardia Criado said. “It is really revolutionary and the fact that they are capable of doing this is amazing.”
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, De La Guardia Criado is working remotely from home for the company.
“Technically my position is marketing associate,” he commented. “But, I am also involved in the product development, helping them develop the software and improve it.”
De La Guardia Criado says the experience he gains from the internship will give him a distinct advantage when entering the job market.
“Being with one of the key startups in the world of sports and technology right now is going to lead me to a lot of great opportunities in the future, just with the contacts and connections that I'm creating and all the knowledge I am taking in,” he explained.
In just a few weeks, De La Guardia Criado says he has already connected with several professional sports teams and Fortune 500 businesses related to the sports world.