Sports giant Nike has picked its winners. Three months after announcing the launch of a new TechStars-powered accelerator for digital fitness startups, the company on Monday said it had chosen the 10 companies that will participate in its first class.
Nike said the 10 startups, which were culled from “thousands,” kicked off the program today in Portland, Ore. and will focus on building their products on top of the Nike+ and NikeFuel platforms.
During the program, the startups will be mentored by health and tech leaders, including Stefan Olander, Nike’s VP of digital sport; David Cohen, founder and CEO of TechStars; Naveen Selvadurai, co-founder of Foursquare; and quantified-self expert Tim Ferriss. In addition to the mentorship, support and work space, they’ll receive $20,000 each.
Given the rising interest in quantified self-type fitness and health tracking devices and apps (like Nike’s own Fuel band), it’s little wonder that the company spots an opportunity in supporting health startups and encouraging new ideas and applications of its platform.
“We are excited by the response to the Nike+ Accelerator and the high caliber of applicants to the program,” Olander said in a statement. “We recently celebrated the first year of NikeFuel and the Accelerator program is a natural next step to broaden and enhance the Nike+ ecosystem – allowing Nike to offer richer experiences to athletes of all levels.”
Here are the 10 companies:
- FitDeck: Digital decks of exercise playing cards that deliver ever-changing workouts for fitness and sports.
- GoRecess: Helps users find, book and review fitness activities.
- Chroma Games: An indie game studio that creates virtual worlds tied to real-world activity.
- CoachBase: Provides a digital sports coaching platform.
- GoFitCause: Leverages fitness data as a means of raising money for charities.
- HighFive: Ad network for health and fitness apps that helps people achieve their goals by rewarding them along their journey.
- Sprout At Work: Provider of corporate wellness solutions leveraging social and gamification tools to inspire employees and empower employers.
- GeoPalz: An interactive gaming and rewards platform for kids and families.
- Incomparable Things: Creates activity-driven fantasy sports leagues.
- RecBob: Offers a platform that makes recreational sports easy by organizing play.