Global Sport Venture Devils: Spring 2019 Demo Day

The winning venture, “Strax Rack,” is a made from re-purposed environmentally friendly Moso Bamboo. Once graduated from its prototype phase, the Ski rack aims to serve as a talking piece for all outdoor enthusiasts and further capture value within alternate sport segments.




Global Sport Venture Devils, a partnered program between the Global Sport Institute and ASU’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation, took place last week at Skysong and featured ten innovative pitches. A common theme throughout the day was imagining the role of sport in the 4th Industrial Revolution of digital automation, artificial intelligence, sustainable product innovation, and e-commerce.

The Demo Day’s entrepreneurs spanned from diverse backgrounds including participants of the greater Phoenix community, former International ASU D1 athletes, as well as a hand full of Thunderbird ASU Global Management students; showcasing a truly global reach.

The pitches were also unique in concept. They spanned from a cloud-based artificial intelligence healthcare app; a blockchain mobile marketplace for predictions of sport outcomes; and innovative entertainment venues combining dining and sport. All ten ventures showed they were in various stages of the life cycle — from ideation to already established in the marketplace.

Behind the scenes of the Global Sport Venture track at E+I’s Spring 2019 Demo Day. Pictured here is Global Sport Institute’s Associate Director of Innovation Programs, Jeff Kunowski, making notes mid venture pitch.

The four-person judging committee included Karina Bohn, COO of GSI, Jeff Kunowski, Associate Director of Innovation Programs at GSI, Pankaj Likhmania, CEO of Interbiz Consulting & Rovicare, and Rahul Poddar, Arizona Tech Investors and ASU Faculty member. As a committee, they awarded four ventures, with amounts ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.

Among the winners were: Baseball Rules Academy ($3k), Strax Gear ($3k), Fútbar ($1k), and Streaker ($1k). Nicolas Vandaam, Co-founder of Streaker, the blockchain mobile platform for sports outcomes, said, “We appreciate the support from GSI in building our company and we’re excited to have the opportunity to further our relationship with the Institute as we bring Streaker to the market, more to come soon!”

Awardees from both 2019 Spring & Fall Global Sport Venture Demo Days will be eligible for an invite to pitch at the 2020 Global Sport Summit. There they will have the opportunity to compete for grand prize winnings, including additional funding and a chance to take a mentorship trip to Adidas’ headquarters and meet one-on-one with high-level leadership.

To find information about Global Sport Venture Devils, visit Global Sport Institute’s website.

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