In 2017, when the Sport Hive at the University of Stirling Innovation Park launched with a cohort of 5 businesses, no-one knew what the future would hold for the aspiring entrepreneurs joining the incubator space.
Now, two years later, many of them are getting ready to launch their products to the market and raise investment to support scaling their businesses into the next phase.
Louise Evison, Business Adviser at the Sport Hive says: ‘This is an exciting time for many of our incubees with their hard work starting to pay off. They have been developing their ideas from concept throughout their time in the Sport Hive and are now ready to launch, scale and show the world what they have to offer’.
The Sport Hive offers incubated businesses access to mentoring, supported office space, free meeting room space, introductions to specialised partners in areas such as law, IP, branding and product development. Many of the businesses in the Sport Hive have also now had introductions to support in the wider ecosystem through Business Gateway and Scottish Enterprise. They are working with partners including Interface and the University of Stirling directly on innovative projects and internships to help grow and scale their businesses.
The programme and incubator space for the sports businesses has been so successful that the University’s original incubator for entrepreneurial students and graduates from across its faculties has merged with The Sport Hive to create an exciting and innovative space.
Sara McDermid, Head of Innovation & Enterprise and Research Operations, Deputy Director of Research & Innovation Services at the University of Stirling says: ‘Our aim for The Hive is to provide our student and graduate entrepreneurs with an innovative space in which they can build their businesses and draw on the range of support that we offer. The success of our incubees has been truly inspiring and they are establishing themselves as leaders and role models within a creative and supportive environment.’
The current Incubees in ‘The Hive’ are working on a diverse range of businesses from innovative swimming aids for children and responsive body protection for the equine market to happiness-in-the-workplace software and sports drinks. Some of the Incubees are already in the market and some are almost there.
Some of them share their experiences with us on the pages overleaf. To find out more about the Sport Hive visit www.sportingchanceinitiative.co.uk/the-sport-hive
Sports Hive Business Profiles
AS D-Zine Ltd
Name: Andrew Davidson
Background: B(DES) Product Design (Hons)/Robert Gordon University/ 2015
Joined the Sport Hive: 2016
Company Profile: M:X® is a multi-award-winning, patent-pending hydration system. It allows the user to seamlessly switch between plain water and a scientifically formulated sports drink as often as they wish, for a flavour-filled, performance-enhancing hydration experience.
Inspiration behind the business:
It started as I wanted to drink plain and flavoured water whilst hiking and carrying various bottles was cumbersome, I looked at ways I could introduce flavour into the flow of water and that was the beginnings of M:X®. Flavour would be a great edition, but I knew it had to be even more compelling.
I researched the benefits of sports drinks on performance and made that the new goal. M:X® will soon launch our dual hydration system which delivers a fully formulated sports drink or water, whenever, wherever, without any fuss. We deliver electrolytes, carbohydrates and flavour on demand to suit your hydration and energy needs.
Most exciting moment in the business so far? Trialling the first fully functioning prototype was elating, it was the culmination of all of the hard work that has taken this idea from a simple idea.
Where are you now? Packaging and tooling production has begun, and we are due to test the first lot of tools this week. We plan to launch the product in the coming months
What’s next? Launching the product range is the next big milestone, please follow us on social media/sign up on the website for further details and updates.
How can we find you? Social Media Tags etc! @Mixhydration or www.mxitup.com
Anything else you want to mention? Thank you to all at The Sport Hive and the University of Stirling for the continued support.
Name: Chris Low & Katie Reid
Background: BSc Sports Development & Coaching, University of Abertay Dundee, Graduated 2017
Joined the Sport Hive: June 2017
Company Profile: Tour Tag is the ultimate golf rewards app. We have developed a first of its kind, mobile app that brings golfing and technology together and encourages golfers to play more, by rewarding all who simply love golf. The app allows users to collect loyalty points for every round of golf they play using a location-based check-in feature. These points can then be exchanged for a multitude of rewards already available within the app, from course green fees to hospitality, coaching, equipment and much more.
Inspiration behind the business: We are both incredibly keen golfers who want to bring something new to the game. Our vision is to encourage golfers to play more and attract a younger generation, whilst helping clubs and businesses thrive.
Most exciting moment in the business so far? Launching the app on iOS and Android!
Where are you now? 2 months into our launch, we’ve hit the ground running with over 1.3k downloads so far and lots of great feedback! We have over 55 different rewards that can save golfers anywhere from 10-75% off.
What’s next? We need to add new rewards to the app so we can grow our user base. We also have some exciting plans for new features that users want to see on the app.
How can we find you? Social Media Tags etc! You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @tourtagUK. We are often running competitions to win a fourball or other cool prizes so check us out!
Anything else you want to mention? The Tour Tag app is free to download, so don’t miss out!
Attis Fitness Ltd
Name: Tim Elizondo
Background: Sports Engineering/Strathclyde University/2016
Joined the Sport Hive: 2016
Company Profiles: Attis Fitness is an innovative start-up developing the future of activity tracking. Attis’ first product is a smart compression legging aimed at the running market.
Our leggings have built-in technology that is able to track your movements in 3D and provide lab-grade running specific biometric data. All of this data is fed through to a phone app which displays your performance as well as offering tailored feedback on how to improve.
These leggings give runners access to professional technology at a fraction of the cost and in a user-friendly package. With this, runners will be able to improve their performance significantly as well as reduce the risk of injury.
Inspiration behind the business:
I took part in competitive sports myself and also studied sports engineering. As part of my experience, I got to work with some of the best sports labs available.
I did, however, see some problems with current systems, they are expensive, exclusive and complex to use. This is what fuelled my inspiration for the product.
I wanted to create a product that would increase the accessibility of high-end sports technology both in terms of price and usability, as well as level the playing field in competitive sports.
Most exciting moment in the business so far? The most exciting moment to date is being selected as one of the top 30 modern innovations in Scotland from ‘Scotland is Now’.
Where are you now? We are close to closing our initial seed investment round and are now entering the final stages of product development and testing phase.
What’s next? We are working on getting the product finished and ready for launch in the next coming months.
How can we find you? Social Media Tags etc! www.attisfitness.co.uk, FB @AttisFitnessLtd, twitter AttisFitness, Instagram attis_fitness
Anything else you want to mention? I really appreciate all the help the Sport Hive has provided me over these past years. It’s been very beneficial and has kept me on the right track as well as open doors in a lot of areas.
*Currently looking for keen runners to test the product.