Innovation Challenge Finalists To Present April 9 in Charleston, S.C.

Three companies—Armbeep, PlayByCourt and Tweener Lighting System—will take part in “Shark Tank”-like competition at annual TOM Conference.

Three finalists have been chosen to present at the third Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge, which will be held on Monday, April 9, during the Tennis Owners & Managers (TOM) Conference in Charleston, S.C.

Armbeep, PlayByCourt and Tweener Lighting System will present five-minute pitches about their new product or service to a panel of judges—and in front of an audience of tennis and racquet sports industry leaders—in a “Shark Tank”-like competition to determine a winner.

Armbeep is a portable device that attaches to the wrist of a players to provide post-activity data, including heart rate, number of shots, speed and power of shots, length of rallies, etc. PlayByCourt is a community-based online platform that facilitates the process of booking lessons, court times and clinics. The Tweener Lighting System is an LED light system for outdoor courts that attaches to the court fence.

The Innovation Challenge winner will receive $1,000, a national press release to thousands of news outlets with a potential reach to millions of consumers, coverage in Tennis Industry magazine, a one-year TIA membership, and additional exposure through industry marketing and social media channels.

“We’re excited to see the presentations of our three finalists,” says Jolyn de Boer, executive director of the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), which sponsors the competition. “This is our third edition of the Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge, and we’ve seen some amazing products and services come to light that are designed to help this sport and industry grow.”

The competition will again be moderated by Carlos Salum, who is president of Salum International Resources and a member of the SportsCouncil Silicon Valley (SCSV), which is co-sponsoring the Challenge. The judges are:

* Rishi Bhatnagar, CEO of Syntelli Solutions, a provider of advanced analytics services;
* Walid Fattah, entrepreneur and co-founder of Kourts, specializing in mobile apps and tennis management systems;
* Mac Lackey, entrepreneur, executive at SportsEngine (div. of NBC Sports), co-founder/chairman of ISL Futbol, and a venture partner of VentureSouth vc.
* Dr. Stuart Miller, senior executive director of the International Tennis Federation;
* Royce Wolfe, principal of Thru Traffic Marketing LLC marketing development, innovation and strategy consultancy.

The first Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge was held at the TOM Conference in March 2017 and was won by Tennibot (tennibot.com), a robotic tennis ball collector. The second Challenge, held in August in New York City during the 2017 US Open, was won by In/Out (inout.tennis), a line-calling device that fits on any netpost.

The Tennis Owners & Managers Conference will be April 8-11 at Wild Dunes Resort in Charleston, S.C. To attend the Innovation Challenge and/or the TOM Conference (day registration is available), and to see a schedule of TOM sessions, visit TheTOMConference.com.

Applicants for the third edition of the Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge were:

  • Advanced Polymer Technology LM Gel
  • Armbeep
  • BATT (Big Absorbent Tennis Towel)
  • Beyond The Baselines
  • BRAD (Ball Retriever And Dispenser)
  • Dual Surface Tennis Court
  • iPlayMe2
  • PlayByCourt
  • PranaScience Breathing Exercises
  • ProBag
  • RacketLogger
  • Score At Hand
  • Tennclosure
  • Tennis Matches
  • TennisKeeper
  • The Power Grip & The Precision Grip
  • TopScore
  • Tweener Lighting System
  • ZLAM