Australians have a love affair with sport. It’s a national pastime. But when it comes to combining startups and sport it’s not something you hear about too often. To take this on face value would however be misguided. Because, although the online news publications may focus on the latest SaaS provider, or a new fintech app, there is plenty happening in the sports-tech space in Australia as we have seen at Techboard, with two Sporttech, or more specifically Sharktech startups in the top 10 of our Ranking for 2016, one of which took out our top prizes at Techboard 2016 for the Highest Ranked Unlisted Startup.
As we come into the home straight of 2016 we thought it was therefore only fitting to profile the top five West Aussie startups in the TechBoard 2016 rankings within the sport and recreation category.
Shark Mitigation Systems (Overall 2016 Rank 2nd)
Coming in, in first place is Shark Mitigation Systems, company founded by Hamish Jolly and Craig Anderson four years ago, now ASX listed. The company operates out of Perth, Australia, which has an area of coastline that has recorded a high incidents of shark attacks and fatalities in recent years.
Both Hamish and Craig are passionate ocean users who set out to create a company that would develop non-invasive solutions for water users to mitigate against shark attacks. To date company has developed (in partnership with Optus) the Clever Buoy, a system that utilises sonar interrogation software and satellite communications that provide critical warning systems to beach users.
In addition to this the company also worked with the University of Western Australia’s Ocean Institute and School of Animal Biology to develop new technology and marine apparel which can reduce the risk of shark attack though patterns that counteract the sharks ability to identify you from certain depths and distances.
Shark Shield (Overall 2016 Rank 10th)
In keeping with the shark deterrent theme we have Shark Shield, the world’s only scientifically proven and independently tested electrical shark deterrent. The company markets their product to the professional adventurer and focuses primarily on surfers, divers, spearfishers and kayakers.
Sharkshield was winner of Highest Ranked Unlisted Startup at Techboard 2016. The Shark Shield was developed after research in 1995 showed how sharks have a heightened sensitivity to close-range, low frequency electrical fields. This resulted in the Shark Shield product that can be attached to watercraft or warn on the person. The unit itself consists of two electrodes which, when both are submerged, emit a three-dimensional electronic field that surrounds the user. If a shark comes within a few metres of this space the strong electronic pulses emitted by the device cause the shark to experience muscle spasms.
Cycliq (Overall 2016 Rank 14th)
Moving on from the watersports and into third position is Cycliq, a company founded by Andrew Hagen and Kingsley Fiegert with the mission to raise awareness for cyclists, while providing high quality products and accessories to the cycling community.
Cycliq’s flagship products are the “Fly 6” and “Fly 12” which combine both a high resolution video camera and light into a single device. This provides the rider with the ability to track and record the activities that occur around them. In fact, Andrew pointed out in a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald that may of their users say “it’s like there’s someone else with you on the ride, looking out for you” and “If something does happen to you, you’ve got the hard evidence there and you can show the police,”
Cycliq recently listed on the ASX after completing a backdoor listing via an oil and gas company.
Bike Bookings (Overall 2016 Rank 88th)
Bike Bookings, claims to be the number one workshop management system for bike shops. The company was founded by Kristen and Natalie Britz after a conversation with a friend and independent bike shop owner highlighted the difficulties they had in running their business.
After fifteen months of development the product was launched and now provides a dedicated workshop management platform to bike shops. In particular the Bike Booking platform allows for the monitoring and reporting on all servicing and workshop repairs and instant two way communication with customers through an integrated SMS platform.
The business operates on the SaaS model with pricing starting at just $20 AUD.
WPN (Overall 2016 Rank 100th)
Rounding out the top five most popular sport and recreation startups is WPN a men’s active sportswear brand founded in 2014 by Daniel Jones. The company aims to be the true transitional Activewear for men, by fusing high-level craftsmanship with on-point urban design, thus ensuring that their gear doesn’t look out of play in the gym or a trendy cafe.
In addition to this the company has a social mission built around maintaining a healthy mind and body. They aim to help raise awareness for and reduce the rate of men’s suicide in Australia and around the world through education, fitness and donating part of the company’s profits to charity.
Bio: Paul Towers is a 3x Entrepreneur and Founder of Task Pigeon, a web app that makes it simple to create, assign and manage the tasks you and your team work on each day. Paul also founded Startup Soda, a daily network of newsletters that highlight the best articles, blog posts and tactical resources from startup ecosystems around the world.