24 Sep 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

Sportswear manufacturer ASICS has announced the first five firms to benefit from its new start-up incubator programme.

The Japanese brand’s New Business and Innovation Division has launched the TENKAN-TEN business growth programme to support innovative businesses in the sports tech and wellness sectors.

The initiative is aimed at firms demonstrating both innovation and “commitment to inspiring movement”, in line with ASICS' founding philosophy of Anima Sana In Corpore Sano – a sound mind in a sound body.

The first wave of successful businesses range from the world of smart fabrics to artificial intelligence and motion capturing apps.

Each selected start-up will benefit from a four-month programme from September 2018 until January 2019, based out of ASICS’ Innovation Centre in the heart of Barcelona. 

They will each receive €30,000 in financial support as well as direct access to senior ASICS and partner executives including Alistair Cameron, CEO of ASICS EMEA. 

The five successful businesses include Runnin’ City from France -  a fitness discovery app allowing users to explore cities while running, and Curv from Canada – a  software that transforms the camera on mobile devices into a motion capture and diagnostic tool for athletes.

The list is completed by the USA’s A-Champs – a real-life gaming system for children, Spain’s Entrenarme – an online platform helping people find their ideal training environment; and Switzerland’s Pyrates – a sustainable clothing company offering high-end performance streetwear.

At the end of their four-month programme period, each firm will continue to benefit from an ASICS Alumni Membership Programme supported by ASICS’ partnerships with ACCIÓ, Barcelona Tech City and the Global Sports Innovation Centre powered by Microsoft. 

All applicants in the process will also receive a complementary wellbeing service, including personal trainer sessions and nutrition plans. 

Commenting on the initiative, Daniel Dümig, new business and innovation manager of ASICS EMEA and leader of the TENKAN-TEN programme, said: “We are extremely excited to announce the first set of businesses to benefit from the TENKAN-TEN programme. 

“Not only does each business share our ambition to get the world moving, they also reflect ASICS’ focus on innovative new services, products, technologies, business models and consumer experiences to drive innovation, learning and expertise in the health and wellbeing sector. “

ASICS has launched the business programme in support of the brand’s ‘I MOVE ME’ positioning, based on a commitment to get the world moving, no matter people’s ability. 

ASICS Ventures, the global investment subsidiary which recently invested in Ai Silk Corporation, ookami and EUPHORIA, will also work closely with the start-up projects in order to pursue future innovations and business opportunities for ASICS.