Tenkan-Ten Presents: the Startups of 2019 – 5 Success Stories and 5 New Challenges!
Photo: Alexander Tanti (Racecheck), Daniel Ekman (Matchi), Jamie Rosen (Waybetter), Aidas Pranculis (OME), Ioannis Malamas (Racecheck), Markos Aristides Kern (Fun With Balls), Mattias Lundström (Matchi), Karolis Rosickas (OME)
Last year’s edition of Tenkan-Ten was a great success, even more so considering it was our first rodeo. All startups achieved their funding goals and are currently up and running. In some cases, they even received follow-up investment from ASICS Ventures Corporation. Since leaving the ASICS Innovation Hub less than a year ago, our first group of participants have accomplished some impressive achievements. Let’s take a look at what has happened!
- ASICS Ventures Corporation has taken an equity stake in Curv Labs Inc, the Canadian startup that has developed software to capture motion, led by Shea Balish and headquartered in Toronto.
- Pyrates Smart Fabrics, based in Spain and led by Regina Polanco, has also received follow-up investment from ASICS Ventures, as well as a collaboration on a capsule collection that will be available to the public in 2020.
- Runnin’ City by Mile Positioning Solutions has strengthened its hold in “sport conciergerie” in the hospitality industry, working with hotels, event managers, and tourist offices. They recently acquired Gwiido, which compliments their existing technology and allows them to better meet the requirements of businesses. Since Summer 2019 several elements of Gwiido have been integrated into the Runnin’ City smartphone app.
- Currently, A-Champs regularly supplies sports events around Barcelona with their product, giving athletes a great training tool. The company is currently working with leading European soccer and hockey teams as well as major global gym chains. Some of their current partnerships include: Goal Station (Leading Soccer Training System), SAQ (the company behind modern speed and agility training) SlowTheGameDown (leading US performance vision company) and Autism Soccer (Soccer Training NPO for kids with special needs).
- SpaceFit/Entrenarme is the only startup from the first group to have exited. The company has successfully been acquired by Mr. Jeff, a platform designed to make people’s day to day life better, and give them more time to enjoy what’s important. It already has 500+ employees and 1,780 Jeff stores in 32 countries.
Now, we are excited to welcome five new and exciting startups to our Innovation Hub, to get to know, lead and build bonds together in the coming months. The newbies are ready for four months of brainstorming, lecturing, networking, developing and refining their businesses and products in the heart of Barcelona. Since we don’t want to keep you waiting any longer, we now introduce you to the innovative startups who have joined us this year:
1. Racecheck – A so-called “TripAdvisor” for endurance sports, that helps athletes find and book their races through this platform. Racecheck also offers accommodation and travel solutions for those wishing to add miles to their running shoes around the globe. Founded in 2016, in the UK, by two siblings, Alexander and Katherine Tanti, who are absolutely passionate about triathlons, their mission was to create a tribe of endurance athletes and enable them to share their experiences, and to discover extraordinary events around the world. Racecheck cuts through the noise of search engines and offers athletes of all levels a platform to find the perfect event for them.
2. Fun With Balls – A Munich based hardware and software startup that infuses sports with the latest interactive gamification technologies by creating new platforms for fun and immersive experiences. It transforms unused spaces into great interactive LED screens that combine the best of gamification with the actual movement of the players. These promote an active lifestyle through the use of AR, making activities more engaging. Their latest product, interactiveSQUASH, is a court that provides the user with the most advanced digital squash coaching with real-time visual feedback statistics. Markos Artistides Kern is the founder of Fun With Balls and his goal is to combine technology and gaming with real sports in order to create a new dimension of active fun.
3. OME Health – Founded in the UK in 2016 by Karolis Rosickas and Aidas Pranculis, OME Health is an evidence-based, personalised nutrition for health company. Nutrition is the primary driver of human health. Every person takes over 200 nutrition decisions a day and most of these decisions are largely uninformed and not based on our health and nutrition needs. OME Health is building a nutrition intelligence software that develops data-driven personalized recommendations to help people achieve their health goals and build a healthy relationship with food. OME Health offers 12-week digital nutrition and health coaching programmes focused on achieving specific health outcomes using biological testing– from weight loss and blood pressure reduction, to improving nutrition to support your training.
4. WayBetter – Founded by Jamie Rosen in New York in 2012, after seeing friends compete in an office weight loss contest. WayBetter was created to motivate people to stick to their goals using fun tools. This app allows its users to bet on their own goals. What makes it so effective is that the players who reach the finish line, end up winning real money, funded by those who didn’t make it. These bets help people stick to their commitments – from eating better to exercising more or just getting those daily steps in, to quitting bad habits, like smoking. WayBetter now has into four categories: DietBet, StepBet, RunBet, SweatBet. In each category, you get to choose a game that matches your specific goals.
5. MATCHi – Founded by Daniel Ekman and Mattias Lundström in 2012. It offers a system for venues to manage bookings, payments, stats, and facility control. It also serves as a global racket sports search engine. MATCHi makes racket sports not only fun, easy and convenient for players, but also simple, modern and profitable for the Board, managers, administrators, and trainers at every club or venue working with them. MATCHi provides a solution for booking systems, better customer service, or increased accessibility through automating a venue’s lighting controls and entry access codes.
We are delighted to be able to support each of the selected startups with € 30.000,00 as well as immediate access to ASICS executives and the industry’s mentors, as well as support from the internationally renowned IESE Business School. The 4-month programme, which will run until February 2020, ending with a Demo Tour, which will connect each business to a global network of retail distributors, venture capitalists, and industry experts. It will also provide founders with leadership development and help them and their team maintain a sound mind in a sound body by focussing on their physical as well as mental fitness.