SFIA Launches Fourth Start-Up Challenge

Taking a cue from the ultra-popular “Shark Tank” concept, the SFIA Start-Up Challenge returns to SFIA’s annual Industry Leaders Summit on September 25, 2019 in Baltimore, MD. After hosting 16 start-ups over the last three years, this competition, which garners national media attention, has created an opportunity for start-ups in the sports and fitness industry.

From a pool of hundreds of applicants, from all over the world, the top five most innovative, forward-thinking companies are selected to compete on the big stage. Each of the five finalists pitch their business to the entire Industry Leaders Summit audience, as well as a judging panel comprised of major industry leaders and investors, including executives from Lululemon, Topgolf, Amazon, Intel Capital, Under Armour and Walmart.

This year’s grand prize is provided by the SFIA Start-Up Challenge sponsor, Empirika Media Group, featuring $25,000 worth of Empirika digital services, allowing the winner to choose from four different digital branding, marketing and product development categories to enhance their business and online presence. In addition, the winner will receive one free year of SFIA membership and spotlights in 2020 Start-Up Challenge marketing and promotional materials.

“We are thrilled to bring back the SFIA Startup Challenge for a fourth consecutive year,” says John Peters, SFIA VP–business development. “It is equally exciting to see the overwhelming demand for a platform like this and the myriad of innovations we’ve seen from early stage companies in our industry.”

All finalists will receive complimentary registration for the Industry Leaders Summit, taking place on September 25–26, 2019 at the Baltimore Four Seasons Hotel.

In somewhat related news, SFIA has entered into a strategic partnership with Empirika Media Group to enhance digital efforts and overall strategy for the industry. The digital agency has worked with major corporations to create legendary experiences and further brand identification.

Empirika’s experience ranges from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. The agency’s ability to elicit the desired purpose, look and feel of the client and bring brands to life across digital platforms has enabled them to also span across various industries, including automotive, retail, electronics, media, finance and travel. Empirika has helped SFIA to re-brand the Start-Up Challenge, among various other sports and fitness ventures aiming to promote innovation, industry vitality and competition.