Cerebro Sports

How a Mark Cuban-funded startup upgraded spreadsheets to a scaling product with no-code
Analytics Platform
2 months
A pre-seed fundraising round led by Mark Cuban to help scale internal data operations
Cerebro Sports

For many high school and college basketball players, getting onto the radar of a college or NBA team is a struggle. There are scouts on the ground relaying player info to schools and teams, however they rely on the eye test – meaning many good players go overlooked. 

But what if there was another fairer way to tell a full, objective story of player performance in the basketball industry that replaces hype with data-driven analytics? That’s the idea behind Cerebro Sports, a SportsTech startup with a player evaluation platform that maintains a global database of basketball performance analytics so that players are able to better track their individual development and coaches can more efficiently and cost-effectively evaluate prospects.

In just two years, Cerebro has not only added over 600k player records and a growing user base of college programs, pro teams and agencies, but also expanded operations with an investment by entrepreneur and NBA governor Mark Cuban. Here’s how they did it with the help of Airdev and the no-code tool Bubble.io. 

The results?

  • A working beta version of the platform in just two months, along with multiple product iterations
  • 600k+ player records uploaded on the platform in two years
  • A growing user base of college programs, pro teams, agencies, media, players, fans, and other key stakeholders in the basketball ecosystem
"We hosted two focus groups on our MVP in Google Sheets for college coaches that Hall of Fame Legend Coach (and investor) John Beilein helped us organize. They thought it was cool. But after we built our platform on Bubble and showed the coaches, one of them said, 'You can do all of that on this one platform? This is the future of recruiting'."
Ed Chao
Co-Founder & VP of Operations at Cerebro Sports

The OBJEctive

The founders of Cerebro saw the need for decision makers and players/prospects to have better insights and more objective data during the recruiting process. Their idea was to make a database product that creates profiles for players and attaches all of their records to one unique identifier. 

“Our hope was to help these kids get recruited to colleges, get scholarships, and to be able to provide data that shows the proof that they are at the level to get into certain college programs. We wanted to even the playing space for these kids so that they had a fair fight at scholarship opportunities and positions on those teams.” - Rohan Dang, Co-founder & VP of Strategy at Cerebro.

They started by creating a fully functional MVP dashboard in Google Sheets, but they needed something that would scale. 

Cerebro Sports
Cerebro Sports
Cerebro Sports
Cerebro Sports
Cerebro Sports
Cerebro Sports


To convert their system of Google Sheets into a web app where they could start building their product, Cerebro’s founders explored development options that could get them to market quickly and cost-effectively. 

“I don't think we were ever going to consider the traditional development approach because of the high expenses. So no-code/low-code was definitely on our mind – that’s why we sought out Airdev. As we started initial conversations with the Airdev team, they seemed really confident that they were going to be able to knock out exactly what we needed. And that's exactly what happened.” - Rohan Dang

Airdev’s Approach

Cerebro began working with Airdev in February of 2021 and was able to spin out the first version of the product built on Bubble in just two months. 

Right away, Cerebro gave Airdev their Google Sheets which provided the blueprints for the platform. These showed how the data was related and flowed, where the formulas were coming from, and what they wanted their dashboards to look like. Using these blueprints, Airdev’s dedicated Product Manager worked closely with Cerebro to translate their vision into detailed product specifications and wireframes, which were then passed to the visual development team to build the app in Bubble.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with the developers and designers on their team. The programmer we worked with was so responsive, addressing new ideas of issues right away – even when I was working at 2am – and having that was amazing.” - John Cho, Co-founder & Chief Product Officer at Cerebro. 

In the end, Airdev was able to provide Cerebro with an easy-to-access, scalable app that does the following:

  • Allows individual players to monitor their game performance while simultaneously comparing with competitors across the country
  • Provides coaches with aggregated player data in a consolidated platform where recruiting programs can zoom in on specific players or filter by skill categories, allowing thorough player evaluations in under 60-seconds


By building with the no-code tool Bubble, Cerebro was able to accelerate its public view and quickly gain market share in a tough-to-break-through environment (coaches have been operating the same workflows for 20+ years). In addition, they’ve been able to iterate on the product multiple times, including the addition of a new portal and a full database restructuring.

“Not knowing enough about no-code platforms and the abilities of Bubble’s backend, my initial worry was that we’d outgrow the system. But I've been pleasantly surprised. We started with a few smaller ideas and formulated our entire web app just around trying to serve that specific audience and product. Then over the past two years, we’ve iterated so many different times to create essentially a brand new product from what we started with. And it's always been rather seamless to get from one step to the next.” - Rohan Dang

All of this has led to a pre-seed fundraising round, led by Mark Cuban, which will help scale internal data operations, while allowing Cerebro to grow its institutional client base and prepare for the release of a consumer offering. 

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