SILVER SPRING, Maryland– The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA)annual Start-Up Challenge, the industry’s premier innovation showcase, moves to a virtual platform for the 2021 contest. The Start Up Challenge, now in its fifth year, brings together young companies and entrepreneurs to pitch innovative concepts in a competitive format. All challenge finalists will virtually present on May 4, 2021, to over 150 judges, consisting of executives, investors and thought leaders in the sports and fitness industry. Up to 10 finalists will be selected from the applicant pool.
The application is now available and open to any entrepreneur with an idea, product, or service in the sporting goods, team sports, sports tech, and/or fitness space. All applications submitted before January 29, 2021, will be evaluated and considered for a finalist position. Interested parties can apply at www.sfiastartupchallenge.org.
“Innovation is at the heart of our industry, and so much of the progress we’ve seen comes from small inventors and entrepreneurs driven to make a difference in sports and fitness,” said SFIA CEO & President, Tom Cove. “We’re excited to bring the Start-Up Challenge to the virtual stage. The post-pandemic marketplace opens doors for a new generation of ideas and offers a platform more accessible to both competitors and judges all around the world.”
To date, SFIA has showcased 21 start-up companies over the last four years, providing start-ups with the opportunity to raise awareness, receive investments, initiate partnerships and kickstart their business in front of their targeted audience. These finalists have collectively raised over $150 million. In addition to presenting directly to over 150 judges from across the industry, all 2021 finalists will receive one year of SFIA membership, a company highlight in the 2021 SFIA research report, personal introductions to five judges of your choice, and real-time feedback. The champion will also receive a video digital package, a 2022 Start-Up Challenge judge’s spot, free registration for the 2021 Industry Leaders Summit and a company feature in a 2021 SFIA research report.
The application is now open and can be reviewed and submitted at www.sfiastartupchallenge.org.