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SFIA Announces Six Start-Up Challenge Finalists for 2018 Competition

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SILVER SPRING, MD (Aug. 9, 2018) – For the first time ever, six finalists have been selected by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) to present their start-up company at the 2018 SFIA Start-Up Challenge. Due to the interest and quality of this year’s applicant pool, SFIA has expanded the competition to recognize six, rather than five, finalists. This year marks the third annual Start-Up Challenge and will kick off SFIA’s esteemed Industry Leaders Summit in Denver, Colorado, on September 26, 2018. To date, the previous 10 finalists have gone on to raise more than $120 million in funding.

Each entrepreneur will receive 10 minutes on the main stage to pitch their new product or idea to the Industry Leaders Summit audience, consisting of industry executives, experts and investors, and a panel of distinguished judges, hand-selected from the industry. Contestants will be competing for a $15,000 cash prize, provided by Black Lab Sports, and an all-expense-paid trip to spend a day with the Under Armour Innovation Team. The Start-Up Challenge winner will be announced during the Awards Ceremony that evening, where they will be recognized in front of the full summit audience.

The finalists include:

·       A-Champs: A company creating systems that combine video game play patterns and technology (sensors, lights and sound) to trigger kids to play, with the goal of helping kids adopt active lifestyles.

·       Blinktbi: Blinktbi's technology and software, EyeStat, has evolved to become the fastest, easiest, most accurate brain injury measurement tool in the world.

·       Elevate Hockey: A hockey brand developing a new, unique stick that will revolutionize the game of hockey, as it improves players’ ability to handle, pass and shoot.

·       FlexIt Inc.: A mobile app that enables users to access gyms without a membership, and only pay for the amount of the time they are using the facility.

·       Nix Biosensors: A single-use patch that senses sweat rate, electrolyte losses and hydration status via sweat, to support hydration management on the field, to optimize safety, as well as physical and cognitive performance.

·       Total Body Board: A portable fitness equipment product structured around resistance bands and versatility, to improve strength, endurance, quickness and range of motion.

“The Start-Up Challenge has become one of the most coveted stages for emerging companies in our industry,” said Tom Cove, SFIA President and CEO. “Each year, the talent pool has expanded and improved, consistently wowing our audience, as applicants open our eyes to new industry opportunities. With the selection process more difficult than ever in 2018, we are excited to welcome these six remarkable contestants to the stage and provide them a platform to present innovations that will impact the future of our industry.”

Not only will these talented individuals have a chance to take home the grand prize, but all finalists will be granted the opportunity to spend the two-day summit networking with potential partners and mentors in the industry, as well as build awareness of their brand. The connections made at the Industry Leaders Summit provide these young start-up companies with pathways to success, as they join in on conversations and attend various presentations and panel discussions regarding the current state of the sports and fitness industry.


The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation, as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs and member services. For more information, please visit

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