This afternoon, 10 startup companies selected to be a part of the first Nike+ Accelerator powered by Techstars program made their final presentations in front of hundreds in Portland’s entrepreneurial community. Nike executives also made a point of remembering the entrepreneurial legacy of Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, who they said started small and hungry, just like the companies in the accelerator program. The Nike+ Accelerator powered by Techstars program was founded, according to Nike, “to help people do more.”
As it turns out today’s final Demo Day pitches were just a drop in the bucket, compared to the 4,683 practice pitches the companies did during their 3-month incubation, according to Techstars Managing Director and local startup advisor Dylan Boyd.
But the practice paid off as each startup CEO succinctly made his or her pitch on the Nike Campus in Beaverton for a variety of products aimed at helping consumers become more healthy or fit. As one might expect, the accelerator program connected to the Nike brand showcased technology solutions that integrate well with Nike’s own technology initiatives, including the Nike+ Fuel Band activity tracker and other digital platforms.
If you missed Demo Day at Nike, check out the Twitter stream at #nikeaccelerator. Below are highlights from each presenting company, who we hope may continue to call Oregon home:
FitDeck — founded by a former Navy Seal and trainer of Navy Seals, FitDeck is taking an already successful fitness-motivating card game (with $4.3 million in revenue) and bringing it to the digital world with an app that is simple, social and surprising, according to Founder Phil Black. Activities include everything from push ups to yoga.
Chroma (based in Portland already) — an active gaming studio that creates virtual worlds tied to real-world activity. It does this by turning the Nike Fuel Band into a gaming console and feeding the compulsion loop that game developers are so adept at developing – only this time, the goal is to make fitness the addiction.
GoRecess — a one-stop online portal for finding a fitness class in your area and booking it. With boutique fitness studios proliferating around the country (Founder Megan Smyth says there are 9 times as many as Starbucks!), GoRecess simplifies the process of finding the right class and helps studio owners drive traffic. And yes, the solution integrates with the Nike Fuel Band so that fitness enthusiasts can track their performance and share it with friends.
HighFive – a mobile rewards platform that gives users unique and customized rewards for healthy choices and physical activity. The company announced a new partnership today with EA Sports and said they are already the number one app in the Crossfit category.
GeoPalz – with screen time going up and active children going down, GeoPalz has developed technology to get kids moving in a fun, interactive way. The company has developed a small, fun-looking activity tracker that goes on a child’s shoe or hip and measures their movement for the day while syncing with an online game that features an animated pet. The catch: the more the kids move, the healthier the child’s online pet becomes. The company announced a new partnership with Disney’s Club Penguin at Demo Day and expects to begin selling the unit at Target and Best Buy this fall.
CoachBase – this solution, which was developed to give coaches a set of online tools and resources to help improve their coaching ability, includes an easy-to-use mobile app for plays and drills; a content library of coaching resources all in one place; and a simple, point-and-draw practice plan. The company’s goal is to “change the world of coaching.”
Nextstep.io – this company kicked off at a Startup Weekend event in Iowa, was chosen to join the Nike+ Accelerator and made Portland its home for the last three months, building out the idea that consumers can reach their wellness goals with simple, motivating reminders to change their habits (i.e. walk five blocks further to the next coffee shop instead of the closest café). Nextstep also integrates with the Nike and other activity trackers.
Sprout – with sitting at your desk being the new smoking risk of the century, Sprout is out to help enterprises measure and motivate their employees to be more active and healthy. Sprout says they are revolutionizing corporate wellness programs through a mobile app that measures employee activity, motivates employees to do more and manages all wellness programs in one easy place.
Totem – with everybody sharing photos and individual moments across a scattered social media landscape, Totem is out to compile the complete story from various feeds and present them as a visual adventure, “intelligently woven together.” Like an interactive postcard, the platform is social and inspires others to create their own adventures.
FitCause – doing some kind of race to fundraise for a cause, such as a run or bike ride, is increasingly popular – but why just stop at a one-time event? FitCause, whose mission is “movement for good,” is a social giving platform that lets athletes choose a cause anytime they want and to fundraise either individually or as part of a group. It also integrates with Nike Fuel Band.