Strathclyde graduates scoop Sports Innovation Challenge Prize

View of John Anderson Campus from the north

Two University of Strathclyde graduates have won prizes in the Sports Innovation Challenge, an entrepreneurship competition run by the Sporting Chance Initiative.

Sports Engineering graduate Timothy Elizondo and Marketing graduate David White each won £4,000, in-kind support from the competition partners and one year of free business incubation at The Sport Hive at the University of Stirling.

Timothy’s winning idea, for his business Attis, was a wearable motion-capture device aimed at providing runners with detailed information about their technique and performance.

David won with his bodyweight training concept for his fitness training company BGR Training after judges were impressed by how he had clearly defined his market and developed an action plan and route to market.

Hugely beneficial

Timothy, 23, from Leicester, said: “I was always very involved and fascinated with motion capture sports labs through my time at the University Of Strathclyde. These labs are hugely beneficial for sports performance but are very exclusive, take a long time to set-up and are confined to indoor spaces.

“During my final year I started a project to make motion capture technology wearable and transportable. After completing the project, I realised there were some commercial possibilities through the interest generated and decided to create Attis, to develop products that will shape a new landscape in the future of sports and fitness through merging electronics into sportswear in different and innovative ways.

“My product will be the first stepping stone in completely changing the landscape of sports.

“Runners will have much more information on their performance and technique which will create a new way of training and will bring running performance to newfound heights. Once we have brought our first product on the market we plan to develop different products for other sports as this technology is applicable to many other sports.”

David, 25 from Glasgow, whose business has also been aided by the Strathclyde Rising Star programme and other government support agencies, said: “It's a great feeling to have won this award, especially as I have had more lows than highs from previous competition entries. It's great to be given that vote of confidence especially from people who know about, and understand the fitness industry.

“There is a perception held by most that the fitness industry is 'too competitive', and I feel they immediately disregard fitness product or services. I think industry-specific competitions have the ability to offer more valid feedback, advice, and guidance to the entrants.

“Exciting times lie ahead for BGR Training as the business will compete at the University Start-up World Cup based in Copenhagen, and product development is due to shortly begin. The business has also recently accepted an offer of investment. The funding will be utilised to achieve a market ready position by the end of 2018.”

Eleanor Shaw, Head of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde, said: “It’s really gratifying to see graduates of Strathclyde go on to start their own successful businesses and gain recognition for their efforts.

“We work hard to encourage and support entrepreneurship amongst all students at Strathclyde in a range of innovative ways and David and Tim are two great examples of this enterprising spirit.”