2nd Annual Sun Devil Athletics Venture Challenge Winners

$35,000 Awarded to Sports Start-Ups in latest pitch day put on by the Global Sport Institute, Sun Devil Athletics and the Edson Institute.

SDA Venture Challenge Winners Announced

$35,000 Awarded to Sports Start-Ups

Tempe, Ariz. (May 13, 2022) - Sun Devil Athletics (SDA), the Global Sport Institute (GSI), and the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University (Edson E+I) partnered to create the Sun Devil Athletics Venture Challenge and winners were announced at ASU Demo Day on April 29. $280,000 in grant funding was awarded to eight funding tracks.  

The SDA Venture Challenge, a partnered funding track within ASU Demo Day, focuses on areas of innovation that are important to athletics' operations. These could include, but are not limited to: venue and facility innovations, immersive technology, consumer engagement and/or athlete performance.


2022 Top Three Winners: 

  • Timeout: $20k (1st place) - Timeout is a holistic approach aimed at improving athlete mental wellbeing. The Timeout app provides personalized and adaptive mental health programming that is designed to integrate with all Mental Healthcare models and is customizable for any sports organization. 
  • VO2: $10k (2nd place) - VO2 is a platform where athletes can create their own branded social tokens that enhance the fan experience by enabling athletes to engage and monetize their fan base directly. 
  • VBAmerica: $5K (3rd place) - VBAmerica is a clothing line featuring volleyball designs meant for wearers to sport their passion both on and off the court.


Beta opportunities:

  • Cycle - Cycle Technology is transforming the way fans engage with sustainability by connecting a digital recycling program to reverse vending machines (RVMs) that reward customers for recycling their beverage containers at stadiums and events.
  • Gifted - Get Gifted Inc. is an easy-to-use app for influencers, student-athletes, and businesses to communicate, compensate and manage brand deals. It's the "agent that fits in the palm of your hand."

“We had some really incredible ideas and it’s been great to see the momentum grow around this competition,” said Jeff Kunowski, Associate Director, Innovative Programs at the Global Sport Institute.  “This year’s ventures ranged from apps that help monitor and address an athlete’s mental health, to a stadium food delivery service, and an app that helps manage an athlete’s name, image and likeness.  It will be exciting to see the winners implement at an upcoming ASU sporting event.” 

Guest judges for the SDA Venture Challenge were: Jean Boyd, Deputy Athletic Director, Sun Devil Athletics, Natasha Adair, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Sun Devil Athletics and Lawrence Guy, Former ASU Athlete and current Super Bowl Champion of the New England Patriots. 

Sun Devil Athletics selected the winners of the venture challenge and will provide them with the opportunity to implement their products within applicable SDA divisions. The Global Sport Institute and Edson E+I will provide the winners of the venture challenge with promotional resources, mentorship, and funding.

Anyone interested in philanthropically supporting the Sun Devil Athletics' Venture Challenge can consider making a donation here


About the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University

The Global Sport Institute is where diverse disciplines converge to thoughtfully examine critical issues impacting sport. As a cross-disciplinary enterprise, the institute's efforts are integrated throughout the entire university — from engineering to sociology, to the athletic department and beyond — rather than within a single concentration. With an emphasis on expanding research, sharing knowledge, supporting innovation and advancing education, the institute's mission is to use sport to create positive change throughout the world. Through its partnership with the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute, the Institute offers start-ups access to an extensive array of curriculum, workshops, advisors, funding and other university resources. Follow the Institute on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.


More information at: https://globalsport.asu.edu/


About ASU Sun Devil Athletics

For more than a century, Sun Devil Athletics has achieved legendary success on and off the field. With 26 intercollegiate varsity sports and more than 650 student-athletes representing Arizona State University, Sun Devil Athletics today is a force that brings even greater attention to the country's most innovative university (U.S. News & World Report, 2016, 2017, 2018), while also engaging the regional community through thousands of volunteer service hours. Seeking the highest-possible bar of excellence, Sun Devil Athletics shapes student-athletes who are successful academically and athletically, and who are prepared for success following graduation.Championship performance, integrity, graduation and tradition are hallmarks of the Sun Devil Way.


About the The J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University 

The J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute serves as a premiere connecting and collaborating conduit across Arizona State University, the greater Phoenix community, nationwide and throughout the world. The Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute helps propel entrepreneurial aspirations by way of opportunities to explore, share, test and advance ideas. As a central source of information, resources and people, engaging with the Edson E+I Institute is to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, engage with global and local events and communities, and launch an idea through mentoring, funding, spaces and commercialization. Follow Edson E+I on TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.