The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) will host its fourth annual Pitch Day competition on Wednesday, January 29 in Miami to give early-stage companies a chance to put their products and business plans in front of athletes and potential investors. This year, the NFLPA is proud to collaborate with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and SportTechie to enhance the scope and reach of the event, and to provide participating companies with additional resources and incentives.
“Our goal is to connect game-changing startups with some of the brightest minds in tech investing and professional sports to spark conversation and foster innovative collaborations. We expect to accomplish that and more at this year’s Pitch Day, thanks to support from our collaborators, AWS and SportTechie,” said Interim President, NFL Players Inc., Steve Scebelo. “Pitch Day will also feature athlete-driven panels around investment, entrepreneurship, innovation and diversity. We’re focused on the value of women- and minority-led businesses, from entrepreneurs to investors, and you’ll see that reflected at this year’s event.”
WNBA All-Star and ESPN analyst Chiney Ogwumike will serve as event emcee. Current and former NFL players will contribute to panel discussions. Among those in attendance are Jaylon Smith of the Dallas Cowboys and members of the NFLPA Athlete Advisory Board Mark Herzlich, Isaiah Kacyvenski, Ryan Mundy and Marshall Newhouse. A networking reception will follow the competition.
The 2020 NFLPA Pitch Day will include three unique pitch challenges in the areas of Consumer Packaged Goods, Human Performance and Athlete-Led companies. Participating startups are competing for access to funding, mentorship and the NFLPA’s exclusive group licensing rights.
Companies will be judged by panels of industry experts, including Shannon Allen, founder of Grown and wife of NBA Hall of Famer Ray Allen; Robert Smith, founder of Fan Health Network and former NFL player; Stephania Bell, ESPN commentator and author; and last year’s Pitch Day winner, Saskia Sorrosa, founder and CEO of Fresh Bellies.
“SportTechie aligns itself with elite organizations in the sports tech ecosystem, and the NFLPA and AWS are among the best,” said SportTechie CEO, Taylor Bloom. “We’re excited to showcase the efforts of the startups selected to pitch, and the investors, athletes and executives who are slated to speak, judge and mentor at the event.”
Ryan Mundy, Managing Director of Techlete Ventures, CEO of 1st and TNTH Co. and a former championship winning NFL player, said: "We're passionate about educating ourselves about innovations that can improve and enhance the way that we live, work and play. We bring the same level of focus and discipline that allowed us to excel on the field to venture investment and we're excited about this year's diverse and unique Pitch Day lineup."
The companies that are confirmed to pitch include:
CONSUMER PACKAGED GOODS
Partake Foods | Founder: Denise Woodward
Gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and free of the top 14 allergens, our super delicious cookies are made with healthy and safe ingredients that everyone can enjoy.
A Dozen Cousins | Founder: Ibraheem Basir
Seasoned, ready-to-eat beans that are cooked in avocado oil and inspired by traditional Black and Latino recipes.
Caribu | Founder: Maxeme (Max) Tuchman
Caribu is the best family video-calling app integrating children's books and activities—a truly engaging experience for kids and their families.
Gloria | Founder: Victoire Reynal
A platform where players can share their videos and get discovered.
Mendi Co. | Founder: Rachael Rapinoe
Empowers athletes with healthier ways to manage pain with innovative products that disrupt the status quo.
Player’s Health | Founder: Tyrre Burks
A digital Risk and Insurance Services organization that protects athletes and sports organizations with a risk management platform.
Sway Brand | Founder: Horace Flournoy (Israel Idonije former NFL player and advisor)
A technology platform and tool that helps brands and agencies discover authentic, diverse influencers; create insights sessions; and execute targeted campaigns and local events with creative content—all at scale.
NWSLPA | Co-Executive Directors: Brooke Elby and Yael Averbuch
The voice of NWSL Players, committed to producing a world-class product on the field, and inspiring the next generation.
Politiscope | Co-Founders: Walter Powell (former NFL player) and Jackson White
Exists to instill confidence in voters by educating them with factual, reliable and easy-to- understand political information in a central location.
About the NFL Players Association
The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through the 2020 NFL season.
About NFL Players Inc.
NFL Players Inc., the licensing and marketing arm of the NFLPA, connects businesses to the power of NFL players. NFL Players Inc. creates customized business solutions for partners, through licensing, marketing strategy and player activations. For more information, please visit nflpa.com/players.
At SportTechie, we make sports smarter. Through immersive storytelling and industry-leading events, we connect you to the innovators and power brokers who are shaping the future of sports technology. Who is SportTechie for? Whether you’re an athlete, fan, team executive, player rep, league insider or technologist, you’ll find significant value in being a part of the community. Our coverage focuses on three main stakeholders within sports—athletes, fans, and teams/leagues—and analyzes how technology affects these deeply interconnected stakeholders in the industry.
Learn more at www.sporttechie.com.