Miro’s AI Technology Picks up Win at SFIA Start-Up Challenge

Miro, a company rooted in computer vision and artificial intelligence, won the 2019 SFIA Start-Up Challenge last month for its complex algorithms that capture valuable athlete data from various athletic competitions, such as races and sporting events.

The tech geniuses behind the start-up have figured out a way to manipulate each participant, individually, segmenting their body into 14 different images, which are then individually analyzed and run through brand detection software. This type of AI provides insights to brands and retailers, picking up in-depth trends and patterns regarding apparel and equipment, among many different demographic breakdowns, such as age, gender and ability.

Five finalists competed in the 2019 SFIA Start-Up Challenge kicking off the Industry Leaders Summit in Baltimore in mid-September. The five entrepreneurs received 10 minutes on stage, in front of the entire Summit audience, as well as a distinguished panel of judges, to pitch their company. Judges included industry executives such as Erik Anderson, executive chairman of Topgolf, and head of marketing and product management at Amazon, Brian Finegan; investors such as Alison Minter from North Castle Partners, and Brian Westbrook, former All-Pro NFL running back and venture capitalist; and innovators such as SVP of lululemon Whitespace, Tom Waller, and head of innovation at Under Armour, Lorin Hamlin.

Empirika Media Group provided the grand prize of $25,000 worth of digital marketing services, helping to improve the company’s online presence and overall image.

“SFIA has assembled this industry in a room, focused their attention and given a great group of small companies the chance of a lifetime,” said Taylor Host, Co-Founder and CEO of Miro. “We're thrilled at the opportunity to share our hard work with the titans of the industry. To actually take home the trophy tonight is incomprehensible. We're going to turn this validation into energy, action and more great nerd stuff!"

Prior to competition kickoff, former Start-Up Challenge finalist from the first-ever competition, Steven Webster, CEO of asensei, addressed the crowd, speaking of his start-up experience and raising capital on-site at the Industry Leaders Summit, regardless of not winning. Through his experience, Webster explained one of his greatest lessons, “It’s not the biggest companies that eat the smallest, it’s the fastest that eats the slowest.” His technology-driven company has skyrocketed since he presented on the SFIA stage in 2016, and serves as an example of what the other 15 previous contestants have accomplished.

The audience, in addition to the judges, featured over 200 C-Level executives from companies such as Adidas, Amazon, Nike, Under Armour, Brooks Running, Walmart and many more. This presentation format allows the entrepreneurs to grow their brand awareness among the right audience and in the right setting.