And as the journey to startup stardom starts today, we now know what each company is building:
- FitDeck: Digital decks of exercise playing cards that deliver ever-changing workouts for fitness and sports.
- GoRecess: Helps users find, book and review fitness activities.
- Chroma.io: An indie game studio that creates virtual worlds tied to real-world activity.
- CoachBase: Provides a digital sports coaching platform.
- GoFitCause: Leverages fitness data as a means of raising money for charities.
- HighFive: Ad network for health and fitness apps that helps people achieve their goals by rewarding them along their journey.
- Sprout At Work: Provider of corporate wellness solutions leveraging social and gamification tools to inspire employees and empower employers.
- GeoPalz: An interactive gaming and rewards platform for kids and families.
- Incomparable Things: Creates activity-driven fantasy sports leagues.
- RecBob: Offers a platform that makes recreational sports easy by organizing play.
“We are excited by the response to the Nike+ Accelerator and the high caliber of applicants to the program,” Stefan Olander, Nike VP of Digital Sport, said in a statement. “We recently celebrated the first year of NikeFuel and the Accelerator program is a natural next step to broaden and enhance the Nike+ ecosystem – allowing Nike to offer richer experiences to athletes of all levels.”
As Rick Turoczy at Silicon Florist points out, only one of the ten companies — Chroma.io — is from Portland.
Nike said the goal of the Accelerator is to ”build offerings that inspire and assist people to live more active, healthy lifestyles.” Companies will focus efforts on Nike+ FuelBand, Nike+ Running and NikeFuel, with Nike providing technical resources and mentorship.
The concept is similar to TechStars’ partnerships with Microsoft, which has run specialized incubator programs around technologies such as Kinect and Windows Azure. In the case with Microsoft and Nike, neither company takes a direct equity stake in the companies participating in the portfolio, nor do they retain rights to the intellectual property of the startups.
However, TechStars receives a six percent equity stake of the participating companies, which also receive $20,000 in startup funds.
The three-month process will finish with a demo day on the Nike campus on June 10.
Previously on GeekWire: Portland just isn’t where young people go to retire: It’s where they get their VC money, too