A few months ago Elysian Park VC, the private investment arm of the LA Dodgers Ownership Group, the Los Angeles Dodgers, sports legend Billie Jean King and R/GA Ventures teamed up to launch Trailblazer, a new Venture Studio focused on what they believe to be the biggest growth opportunity in sports: women.
Cole Van Nice, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Elysian Park Ventures shared: “The energy around women and sports is one of the most exciting trends in the sports industry right now. We were thrilled to see so many high-quality companies validating our thesis that one of the biggest growth opportunities in sports is women. The high level of entrepreneurial activity made for a competitive and energizing application process, and we can’t wait to get to work with this amazing group of founders and companies.”
Meet the Startups!
9 startups made the cut and are now starting 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 building their brand through creative services from R/GA. Each company will also receive financial investment as part of its selection.
Ilana Kloss, CEO of Billie Jean King Enterprises adds: “The Trailblazer Venture Studio is committed to ensuring the next generation of trailblazers are given equal access to opportunities in sports, in business, and in life. The studio will support these companies with access, services, and connections that will allow them to reach their maximum potential.”
The 9 selected startups joining Trailblazer’s inaugural program are:
Led by former ESPN associate Tiffany Kelly, Curastory allows athletes and creators to shoot and edit high-quality video, monetize their name, image, and likeness in powerful new ways, and distribute their content to their video channels.
Elysian Park Planning
Founded by Janet Marie Smith, a designer and urban planner who has led the renovations of some of the world’s most legendary sports venues including Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Fenway Park, Dodger Stadium and now Stamford Bridge, EPP is transforming sports venues to create fan experiences rooted in magical spaces and revitalizing iconic landmarks across sports.
Led by former Wall Street executive Lauren Foundos, FORTË‘s developed the fitness industry’s only turnkey, live and on-demand streaming solution, enabling gyms to offer a premium hybrid experience to their members and powering top brands like UFC GYM, YMCA, The Edge, 305 Fitness & the NFLPA.
Led by serial entrepreneur Akemi Sue Fisher, Her Galaxy is a division of the global Galaxy Racer platform that seeks to empower women at the intersection of esports, gaming and culture.
Co-founded by Laura Youngson, who led a group of women to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to play a Guinness world record-breaking football match to highlight gender inequalities in sport, IDA Sports exists to prioritize high-performance and comfortable footwear and cleats for female athletes who have traditionally been an afterthought in the sports industry.
Led by Katlyn Gao, a deeply experienced female-centric consumer brands executive, League One Volleyball is commercializing volleyball by creating a purpose and profit driven ecosystem rooted in a national network of junior clubs, with the vision to create the first, full-season indoor volleyball pro league in the US.
Led by former LPGA professional golfer Jeehae Lee, Sportsbox AI is an AI-powered single-camera 3D-motion capture technology company that brings real-time corrective feedback to help athletes achieve their goals in sports and fitness, starting in golf, using patent-pending 3D Motion Analysis and Kinematic AI technology.
Led by former college friends and sports fans Jacie deHoop, Ellen Hyslop, and Roslyn McLarty, The GIST is a community-driven digital media company, changing the way sports content and storytelling speak to underserved sports fans.
Founded by professional athletes Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim, Sue Bird, and Simone Manuel, and led by Co-founder and Chief Content Officer Jessica Robertson, Togethxr is a media and commerce company curating original content to elevate women’s voices in sports.