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Action sports start-ups will pitch to investors next month

By Andrew Horan
May 22, 2009 6:40 AM

Four small action sports businesses are among the six companies that will pitch their stories to potential investors next month at a capital forum in San Diego.

The companies were selected from more than 50 applicants to present their product and business vision, according to Taylor Peterson, Connect's director of new sector development. Connect is a San Diego-based non-profit that connects entrepreneurs and investors in several industries.

The idea is for the company founders to network with investors, who can learn about the latest innovative investment opportunities in the sports and active lifestyle industry.

The Rhythm teamThe Rhythm team, L-R: Jamahl Grey, Jye Townend,
and Rhythm rep Justin Hugron

The six companies making their pitches are:

  • Malama Composites, which makes plant-based composite materials for use in surfboards, kiteboards, wakeboards, boats and yachts.
  • Rhythm, which designs, manufactures and wholesales surf apparel to core stores in the U.S., based on its Australian counterpart.
  • SponsorHouse, which does business as Loop'd Network, and is an online network for motocross, skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and BMX.
  • SportsForce, which does business as TheSportsTV.com and offers a sports career development platform for athletic scholarship opportunities.

The forum is June 16 at 10 a.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown San Diego. Potential investors have until June 15 to register.

Connect's Sports Innovators group also recently added six members with a variety of action sports backgrounds to its advisory board, which already includes PT Townend and Jim Stroesser. The new members are:

  • John Sarkisian, CEO, SKLZ, the flagship brand of Pro Performance Sports, LLC;
  • Mark Schmid, Founder/CEO, Form Function Technologies and former owner/founder, Syndrome Distribution and Pro Skate Products;
  • Bob Rief, COO, C4 Waterman and Boardworks Surf and former CEO of Sanuk and Reef;
  • Michael Brower, General Manager & CFO, PowerMetal Technologies, Inc. and former CFO, Orange 21 (owner of Spy Optic);
  • Brian Enge, CEO, Zoot Sports (recently acquired by K2); and
  • Tony Finn, Founder, LiquidForce and inventor of the wakeboard.

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