SDSI Accelerator For Sports Startups Gets Qualcomm Foundation Boost

Entrepreneurs who are accepted into the next 20-week accelerator program run by SD Sports Innovators will get the opportunity to learn from senior Qualcomm employees as they work to better their businesses.

SDSI, a nonprofit organization based north of San Diego in coastal Solana Beach, focuses on advancing companies that involve sports, active lifestyles, health, and wellness.

The organization recently announced that SDSI’s next class of companies will be sponsored by Qualcomm Foundation, and will receive mentoring from experienced employees at the locally based tech giant. The partnership is intended to boost tech companies and companies founded by women in the sports and active lifestyle sector, SDSI said. Applications opened Monday.

The accelerator program, which takes two classes of companies yearly, considers businesses that are bringing in from $100,000 to $2 million in revenue from their products or services. The program connects entrepreneurs with experienced mentors in an effort to set the companies up for additional growth.

Previous participants include Hookit, which analyzes online metrics to determine the value of sports sponsorships, and Slyde, which developed a line of handboards—little surfboards that bodysurfers strap to their hands for a faster, more controlled ride.

The corporate venture capital arm of Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) also recently boosted women entrepreneurs in tech, holding a pitch competition in San Francisco called Female Founder Summit. Ten companies competed for $500,000 and entry into the Qualcomm Ventures portfolio.

Since SDSI launched its accelerator in 2009, 86 companies have completed the program. Collectively they have raised nearly $86 million in outside investment and created roughly 500 jobs; 82 percent are still operating, according to SDSI. Half the companies that went through the program had a woman founder or CEO; 55 percent were creating products or services that merged sports and technology, according to the organization.

Go here to learn more about the SDSI accelerator.

Sarah de Crescenzo is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can reach her at sdecrescenzo@xconomy.com. Follow @sarahdc

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