By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Beaverton, Ore. — Nike has chosen 10 technology partners for its Nike+ Accelerator program, designed to further the product ecosystem of its Nike+ fitness technology platform.
Nike said the "program leverages the success of the Nike+ platform by connecting with viable companies that share a commitment to helping people lead more active lives."
The 10 Accelerator companies will begin a three-month immersive program in Portland, Ore., developing and evolving products and services that leverage the Nike+ platform and the company's NikeFuel wristband monitor.
The ideas submitted by the new partners span a broad range of activity and health sectors including training, coaching, gaming, sport, wellness and rewards, Nike said.
The 10 companies selected to participate in the Nike+ Accelerator program and their projects include:
* 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.io: 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: corporate wellness solutions leveraging social and gaming 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; and
* RecBob: offers a platform that makes recreational sports easy by organizing play.
Each company will receive $20,000 in funding and mentorship by leaders across Nike and the tech industry, including Stefan Olander, Nike’s digital dport VP; David Cohen, founder and CEO of TechStars; Naveen Selvadurai, co-founder of Foursquare; Katia Beauchamp, co-founder of Birchbox; Tim Chang, managing director of the Mayfield Fund; and quantified-self guru Tim Ferriss.
The mentors will engage directly with participating companies. TechStars will facilitate the program, having successfully completed more than 20 accelerator programs using their mentor-driven, deep-immersion, three-month model, Nike said.
TechStars’ mentoring model has attracted more than $275 million worth of venture capital for the companies that have participated in past programs over the last six years of operation, according to Nike.
"We are excited by the response to the Nike+ Accelerator and the high caliber of applicants to the program," said Nike's Olander. "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.”
“It is an honor to be one of only 10 companies chosen to participate in the Nike+ Accelerator program,” said Zan O’Leary, COO of GeoPalz. “We share Nike’s vision of bringing motivation and inspiration for healthy living to people of all shapes, sizes, ages and activity levels. We are thankful and excited to utilize Nike’s knowledge and resources to further our passion for family health and fitness.”
The Accelerator program culminates in mid-June with the opportunity to pitch angel investors, venture capitalists, industry leaders and Nike executives during Investor Demo Days, including a day at Nike World Headquarters here, and a day in California's Silicon Valley. More details on the program, including a full list of program mentors and information for developers, are available at the Nike+ Accelerator website.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.