NEW YORK, September 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Trailblazer Venture Studio is proud to announce the first nine companies to join the studio to focus on the future of women and sport. Trailblazer is a collaboration between Billie Jean King Enterprises, Elysian Park Ventures, the Los Angeles Dodgers and R/GA Ventures committed to providing unparalleled access, insights and strategic benefits to select companies that place women leaders, athletes and fans first.
The companies selected for this studio are making huge strides in terms of equal opportunity for women’s leadership, participation and fandom in sports. Joining four countries, each of the selected companies has female leadership and is transforming the space women occupy in the global sports industry, bringing real solutions to the difficult issues facing women in sports performance and coaching, media and storytelling, site experiences and esports. .
“The energy around women and sports is one of the most exciting trends in the sports industry right now. We’ve been thrilled to see so many high-quality companies validate our thesis that one of the greatest opportunities for growth in the sport is women. The high level of entrepreneurial activity for a competitive and energizing application process, and we look forward to working with this incredible group of founders and companies,” said Cole VanNiceco-founder and managing partner of Elysian Park Ventures.
Here are the innovative companies joining the Trailblazer Venture Studio portfolio:
- curastery (New York, NY): Led by former ESPN associate Tiffany KellyCurastory empowers athletes and creators to shoot and edit high-quality video, monetize their name, image and likeness in powerful ways, and distribute their content across their video channels.
- Elysian Park Planning (Los Angeles, CA): Founded by Janet Marie Smitha designer and urban planner who led the renovation of some of the world’s most legendary sporting venues, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Fenway ParkDodger Stadium and now Stamford BridgeEPP transforms sports venues to create fan experiences anchored in magical spaces and revitalize iconic landmarks across all sports.
- STRONG (New York, NY): Led by a former Wall Street executive Lauren FoundosFORTË has developed the fitness industry’s only turnkey, live, on-demand streaming solution, enabling gyms to deliver a premium hybrid experience to their members and powering top brands like UFC GYM, YMCA, The Edge, 305 Fitness and the NFLPA.
- HIS galaxy (Tampa Bay, Florida): Run by a serial entrepreneur Akemi Sue FisherHer Galaxy is a division of the global platform Galaxy Racer that seeks to empower women at the intersection of esports, gaming and culture.
- Ida Sports (Perth, Australia and London, England): Co-founded by Laura Youngsonwho led a group of women to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to play a Guinness World Record soccer match to highlight gender inequality in sport, IDA Sports exists to prioritize high-performance, comfortable shoes and cleats for female athletes who have traditionally been an afterthought in the sports industry.
- LOVB (Los Angeles, CA) : Directed by Katlyn Gaoa highly experienced, women-centric consumer brand leader, League One Volleyball markets volleyball by creating a purpose-driven, profit-driven ecosystem rooted in a nationwide network of junior clubs, with a vision to create the premier professional league in indoor volleyball all season in the United States.
- AI Sportsbox (Bellevue, WA ): Led by a former LPGA professional golfer Jeehae LeeSportsbox AI is an AI-powered single-camera 3D motion capture technology company that provides real-time corrective feedback to help athletes achieve their goals in sports and fitness, starting with golf, using patent-pending 3D motion analysis and Kinematic AI technology.
- The essential (Toronto, Canada): Led by former college friends and sports fans Jacie deHoop, Ellen Hyslopand Roslyn McLartyThe GIST is a community-driven digital media company changing the way sports content and storytelling reach underserved sports fans.
- Setxr (Los Angeles, CA): Founded by professional athletes Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim, Sue Birdand Simone Manueland led by co-founder and chief content officer Jessica RobertsonTogethxr is a media and commerce company that curates original content to elevate the voices of women in sport.
These nine companies have launched a 12-week program in which each company will focus on strategic business development opportunities through relationship capital from Billie Jean King Enterprises, Elysian Park, the LA Dodgers and R/GA Ventures, and on building their brand through creative services. from R/GA. Each company will also receive a financial investment as part of their selection.
“The Trailblazer Venture Studio is committed to ensuring the next generation of trailblazers have equal access to opportunity in sport, business and life,” said Ilana Kloss, CEO of Billie Jean King Enterprises. “The studio will support these businesses with access, services and connections that will allow them to reach their maximum potential.”
This is the third attempt between Elysian Park Ventures, the LA Dodgers and R/GA Ventures. The three previously partnered to launch the LA Dodgers Accelerator, the world’s first sports technology accelerator, in 2015 and are currently partners in the Global Sports Venture Studio (GSVS), a group of sports leaders driving innovation in the sports industry.
follow on Twitter as these companies grow and increase their impact at the intersection of women and sport with the help of the Trailblazer Venture Studio team.
About Billie Jean King Enterprises
Billie Jean King Enterprises is a women-owned and managed investment, advisory and marketing firm, founded by Billie Jean King and his partner Ilana Kloss. An investor since 1968, King became an icon for women in sport and beyond during her legendary tennis career and continues to make her mark today. Billie Jean King Enterprises puts King’s brand philosophy and value to work and capitalizes on its longstanding advocacy for equality by partnering with businesses to challenge the status quo and create a level playing field. Visit bjkenterprises.com for more information.
About Elysian Park
Elysian Park is a global investment platform created by the owner group of the Los Angeles Dodgers dedicated to building the future of the sport. Operating from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London, Elysian Park invests where sport intersects with the global markets of health, culture, commerce and technology. Elysian Park invests through the stages from seed to growth and provides entrepreneurs with perspective, connections and a set of strategic resources that include Trailblazer Venture Studio, Global Sports Venture Studio, Robin, Fitt Insider and EP Golf Ventures in partnership with PGA of America, among others. Visit elysianpark.ventures for more information.
About the Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, with seven World Series championships and 24 National League pennants since its debut in brooklyn in 1890, is committed to a tradition of pride and excellence. The Dodgers are dedicated to supporting a winning baseball culture, providing a first-class, fan-friendly experience at Dodger Stadium, and building a strong partnership with the community. With the largest cumulative fan attendance in Major League Baseball history and a record breaking barrier, the Dodgers are one of the most beloved sports franchises in the world. Visit the Dodgers online at www.dodgers.comfollow them on Twitter @Dodgers and like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Dodgers. For media information, visit www.dodgerspressbox.com.
About R/GA Ventures
R/GA Ventures works with startups and organizations to create a more human future. We do this by identifying disruptive and inspiring technologies and ideas, and backing those ideas with the financial, creative and relationship capital needed to drive growth and returns. R/GA Ventures has managed 31 programs to date, including the LA Dodgers Accelerator and the Global Sports Ventures Studio. R/GA Ventures and R/GA are part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: GIP). Learn more about ventures.rga.com and following @rgaventures.
The Global Sports Venture Studio brings together leaders from the world’s leading sports organizations to engage in the sports innovation ecosystem. Our partners – Angel City FC, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fox Sports, Los Angeles Football Club, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBC Sports, UEFA, USTA and Verizon – are actively working together to drive growth in the sports industry by identifying, developing and deploying new athlete and fan-focused innovations through pilots, investments and the development of new products, services and technologies. Visit globalsportsventurestudio.com for more details.