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ukactive chooses first 12 ‘disruptors’ for ActiveLab startup scheme

By Tom Walker    25 Nov 2016
ActiveLab aims to find 'innovative ways to inspire active lifestyles'

The first 12 physical activity disruptors to benefit from the ActiveLab startup mentoring scheme have been named.

Set up by not-for-profit health body ukactive, ActiveLab aims to help develop and support innovative health solutions designed to tackle the UK’s “inactivity epidemic” which is estimated to cost the NHS around £20bn each year.

The 12-week programme will look to accelerate startups and help them develop their inactivity-busting products and services further.

Among those chosen for the programme are VRGO Chair, a virtual reality chair to get computer gamers active; Stepjockey, a wireless circuit that inspires movement in the workplace; and Shapelog, a ‘Fitbit for strength training’.

Over the course of the ActiveLab programme, the chosen 12 companies will receive a series of networking opportunities with investors and leading physical activity firms, as well as tailored mentorship and expert workshops on the challenges of scaling a business.

The programme will conclude on 15 March 2017, when the 12 finalists will showcase their innovations and take part in a series of live pitches.

The winner will win a “premium accelerator toolkit” worth £25,000 – comprising a suite of products and expertise to fast-track their concept.

Steven Ward, executive director of ukactive, said: “As physical activity, fashion, health and technology continue to converge, we’re entering a brave new world of innovation with exciting opportunities to get more people, more active more often.

“We want ActiveLab to become the global launchpad for innovative and scalable physical activity businesses, so I’m hugely excited by the dynamic group of companies that have made it through to the first cohort.

“The hard work starts here and over the next 12 weeks the cohort will work with our unparalleled panel of private investors, expert mentors and coaches to develop their concepts ahead of the grand final on 15 March.”

As part of the initial selection process, ukactive engaged with over 150 potential entrants and received 70 full business plans. ActiveLab is being backed by AXA PPP and Tech City UK.

The 12 companies to be supported through the accelerator’s first cohort are:

imovesdance - Online tools to get kids active in school and home

Connected Fitness Labs - An app breaking down the four walls of the gym by supporting a health club operator to become a true fitness brand by offering digital support to consumers

EveryMatch International - A white-label mobile Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for building fitness member communities

Gymetrix - The first company in the world to start attaching sensors to gym equipment to measure customers usage of the equipment and then use the data to optimise operators equipment purchasing

Shapelog – Described as ‘Fitbit for strength training’

Amaven - An online platform to help measure, track and improve the physical development of everyone through fundamental movement skills and sports skills.

iPrescribe Exercise - An app that uses an algorithm to provide the user with an automated, yet individualised activity programme that will gradually build them up to their optimal but safe level of activity

LiveSmart - UK wide, dynamic, evidence based health assessment and improvement programmes

Stepjockey - Smart signs and gamification platform to enable employers to quickly make their buildings healthier and more active

VRGO Chair - An active chair that can be used for movement within virtual reality

Open Play - Online booking system and marketplace for sports facilities and activities

Silverfit - Weekly Fun And Fitness sessions for older people

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