Our virtual CTO was approached to build and develop a sports pool hosting platform and brand where users can predict the outcome of sporting events and compete against others. Working closely with the team and leading project initiatives ourselves, led to the development of PlayAction Pools. Because this was a new platform, our virtual CTO was consulted to:

  • Lead efforts in researching and developing a brand
  • Establishing a business strategy
  • Managing the development and launch of the platform
  • Creating a seamless project experience by acting as the technical leader for the team
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with partners and key stakeholders.

What is CTO as a service?

CTO as a service, or virtual CTO, refers to the business and technical consultation and implementation services a Chief Technical Officer provides. The job of the CTO is to meet a project’s technical needs, recommend best practices, coordinate research efforts, and manage tasks for the development team.

A project might require a virtual CTO if they don’t have their own in-house CTO or lack the technical knowledge to hire one and instead choose to outsource this responsibility for a short-term project or long-term member of the team. Many companies choose to use a virtual CTO if they don’t have the ability to hire a full time CTO or only want a technical expert for specific projects.

Developing a business strategy

Before developing the brand and platform, our virtual CTO needed to establish a system for business operations so that beyond the technical infrastructure, the business infrastructure would be solid and serve long term growth. 

Throughout the project, our virtual CTO acted as project manager by leading the strategy, branding, and platform development process and delegating tasks to the team. Each company is unique, so by establishing an organization structure and leading the process, we were able to establish policies for long term growth that were specific to PlayAction Pools platform and goals. 

Brand design and research

When our virtual CTO was approached to do this project, a brand hadn’t been established and it was necessary to create branding and a design system to inform our website views. To begin this process, we did industry research to learn about other sports pool competitors in the space. We also spoke to the project team and discussed goals and vision to develop a mission statement. 

From industry research and goal setting, our virtual CTO was able to establish the PlayAction Pools brand and establish a flow and data structure for each of the site pages.

Tech leadership as a virtual CTO

After creating a brand and going through the design iteration process for the platform, our virtual CTO documented necessary features and deliverables by setting requirements and timelines that could be monitored for progress. As we conducted quality assurance throughout the project, we both tested the frontend views and assessed the code to make sure that best practices were being followed. This project led to the team creating systems for:


This system involves a login system, a method for creating user groups and permissions, and establishing an OAuth system for Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple.


This is a debit and credit system where users can purchase credits for pool and entry fees.


This system ties into the credits system and provides a method for the credits purchases to be processed using Stripe.


This is a discount system that allows users to enter coupon codes for money off of the pool entry fee.

Game modes

The platform initially supported four game modes with the foundation built to expand to more modes later. We started with Build your Bankroll, Pick ‘Em, Survivor, and Gauntlet. Each offering different payouts and supporting different sports like NFL, NCAAF, NCAAB, and PGA, with more to come soon.

Creating a fundraising strategy

To contribute to PlayAction Pool’s success, our virtual CTO created an investor deck to help communicate key metrics and features to those interested. We also helped to manage partner relationships by taking calls with parties interested in contributing to the platform, serving as the company’s technical voice internally to the development team and with investors, and presenting the product to key investors.

Let’s wrap it up

After PlayAction Pool’s successful launch, their user base has grown and there have been 100k picks made, over 1,750k onboarded users, and over 80 contests made as of April 2022. As their platform has become further established, they no longer needed a dedicated CTO service and instead we transitioned to acting as a consultant for any specific project needs to maintain platform stability. If you’d like to learn more about how a virtual CTO can help your company or project, check out our services here

Alex James
Written by Alex James

Community Strategist for Audentio. Alex is a true Jane of All Trades so when not managing our community clients, she’s a lover of all things pasta and board game enthusiast.