ASICS has announced five growth-stage start-ups selected from around the world to be part of the global ASICS TENKAN-TEN accelerator programme. Applications for the programme increased by over 60% in 2019 and were submitted by start-ups from 38 countries.
Japanese for ‘tipping point’, the TENKAN-TEN programme supports selected start-ups from within the health, fitness and wellbeing sector with €30,000 investment and ‘unparalleled access to ASICS executives, as well as an MBA student task force from the internationally renowned IESE Business School.’
The solutions offered by the selected start-ups range from sports gamification technology and personalised nutrition coaching to a global community platform designed for endurance sports enthusiasts. ASICS adds that ‘they are united by the commitment they share with ASICS to getting the world moving through innovation in sports and well-being.’
The 2019 ASICS TENKAN-TEN Businesses
- Fun With Balls is a Munich-based venture founded in 2016 which combines physical sports with interactive gaming technologies. It creates new platforms that upgrade underused sports courts to immersive experiences to promote an active lifestyle to a broader audience.
- MATCHi, a Swedish-based venture established in 2012, aims to simplify life for those who play or work with racket sports. MATCHi provides an online platform that connects racket sports venues and players with each other while managing venue bookings, payments and access control. MATCHi is seen as a leader in the racket sports space with over 300,000 players using the platform across the Nordics.
- OME Health, a UK-based business founded in 2016, specialises in personalised nutrition coaching to achieve specific health outcomes, based on biological testing. OME Health partners with health insurers and food companies to offer personalised nutrition plans.
- Racecheck is a community and race discovery platform for athletes. It is a one-stop solution to help athletes of all levels find, book and plan races around the world while connecting participants and facilitating the sharing of event experiences. Founded in the UK in 2016, Racecheck is used by over 1200 race organisers to help promote their events to new audiences and drive entries.
- Waybetter makes games that motivate people to reach healthy goals. Players who reach their goal win real money, funded by those who didn’t complete their challenge. The New-York based company has had over 900,000 players from all over the world who have collectively won US$78m while losing 6 million kilos in weight and walking or running over 200 million kilometres.
Alistair Cameron, CEO ASICS EMEA said “I’m very excited to be working with businesses who share our belief in the power of movement to help us feel better, both physically and mentally. We want to get more people moving, more often, so that they can experience a ‘sound mind in a sound body’. The innovations that the businesses are bringing to the sports and well-being industry will help us to achieve this goal.”
In 2018 ASICS’ TENKAN-TEN programme supported five start-ups, all of which have successfully completed the programme while reaching their funding and business goals. Among the businesses, CURV LABS and PYRATES Smart Fabrics have received additional investment from ASICS Ventures Corporation as well as developing and executing collaboration projects with ASICS.
The 2019 programme has a duration of four months and has already started in the ASICS EMEA Innovation Hub in Barcelona.