SDSI Springboard Applications are now closed. The Next Application Period is June 19 - July 31.
THANK YOU TO OUR SDSI SPRINGBOARD SPONSOR!
Let’s talk directly about business accelerators, incubators and mentoring programs and what you can expect. If you have not already done an extensive online search, you should do so. You will find a wide variety of programs. Some take equity; some are advice encounters with trade associations. Some are fundraisers. Some pair you with another senior advisor who ”has been there.”
Against this backdrop there is one very alarming statistic: 90% of new businesses in the US fail. It's a horrible number which points out that it takes more than causal attention to succeed today.
SDSI’s Springboard program is a little different: 89% of our graduate companies succeed and remain in business today. Our 61 graduate companies have raised $47.5 million in funding and have created 390 jobs.
It’s an amazing track record and there is a reason why so many SDSI Springboard companies have succeeded. First, our initial screening process is very thorough and effective: we only accept growing companies that have what we consider the “it” factor for success. Being accepted into the program is an aspirational goal, which means we continue to get increasingly competitive applicants. Secondly, the mentoring teams are very committed and seasoned. And finally, there is a proven curriculum that results in a well constructed business plan. At the end of the program you can expect to have a killer business plan that anticipates your future challenges and helps provide strategies and tactics to adapt and overcome! Companies graduate with a business plan in a presentation format that is suitable for potential investors and strategic partners or just executing on independently.
SDSI Springboard is a very effective and credible tool to help prepare you to attain the resources you need to scale your business and succeed.
So, What is Springboard?
SDSI Springboard is SDSI's 20-week intensive business accelerator that helps sports and active lifestyle industry entrepreneurs create sustainable and scalable businesses based on a demanding curriculum and professional mentoring. Participants get a golden key to what is often 500 years of entrepreneurial know-how in mentorship from industry executives.
SDSI's Springboard Mentors have learned all this stuff the hard way, made both million dollar mistakes and million dollar deals. Let them help you skip over the pitfalls in this 20 week course that offers the single best business value for SAL companies in Southern California. There is no cost to apply, however upon acceptance companies must be members of SDSI to participate.
The purpose of SDSI Springboard is to assist in refining company business models and creating sustainable and scalable businesses.
Graduates of SDSI Springboard are better positioned to:
• Grow and Scale their business
• Launch a new product into the market
• Build out a team and advisory board
• Form strategic partnerships
• Raise capital
Who Should Apply?
SDSI Springboard provides valuable to Sports and Active Lifestyle companies of all sizes, particularly those that are facing the following milestones:
• Starting a new business
• Launching a new product into the market
• Shifting their business model
• Working through a significant growth phase
• Preparing to raise capital
How does it Work?
Companies who are accepted are paired with a mentoring team which includes; a Business Advisor, Finance Mentor and Marketing Mentor. Entrepreneurs work weekly with their mentoring team, convening every six weeks for each milestone where they present their business opportunity to the SDSI Springboard panel for feedback. Mentoring occurs in stages, starting with the development of the 15-minute presentation and then creating a five minute Quick Pitch and thirty second Elevator Pitch.
SDSI Springboard’s Four Milestones
1. Intake Panel (15 Minute Presentation #1) – Confirms acceptance into the SDSI Springboard Program. Preliminarily accepted applicants give their 15-Minute business presentation to potential mentors, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A focused on evaluating coachability, business model viability and market opportunity.
If accepted, a mentoring team for each company will be formed including: a Business Advisor who will lead the mentoring team, a marketing domain expert, and a finance domain expert. Additional domain experts can be assigned as needed.
2. 15 Minute Presentation #2 – Springboard participants give further refined 15-Minute business presentation to Business Advisors, Domain Experts and fellow Springboard participants. Presentation is followed by 30 minutes of Q&A, panel deliberation and feedback. Additional domain experts may be assigned if needed.
3. 15 Minute Presentation #3 – Springboard participants give further refined 15-Minute business presentation to Business Advisors, Domain Experts, SDSI board members and fellow springboard participants. This is the final opportunity for feedback and fine tuning on the 15 minute presentation. Presentation is followed by 30 minutes of Q&A, panel deliberation and feedback.
4. Quick Pitch / Elevator Pitch Panel – Springboard participants give 5-Minute business presentation with slides to Business Advisors, Domain Experts and fellow Springboard participants. Presentation is followed by 10 minutes of Q&A and 10 minutes of feedback.
Who is Accepted?
The following criteria is used to determine acceptance:
• Sales between <$500K to $10Million
• Relevance to the Sports and Active Lifestyle Industry
• Business model viability
• Product/service validity (working prototype, samples, etc.)
• Customer/market validation (significant testimonials, demonstrated sales, LOI, etc.)
• Commitment (skin in the game, etc.)
• Availability of mentors with relevant expertise
Who are Our Mentors?
SDSI Springboard mentors are executives with significant business experience from the Sports and Active Lifestyle Industry. They volunteer their time to provide their best ideas on growing and managing your business, so you can experience the kind of successes they have. See the Mentor Directory for full list of mentors and the various roles they play in the mentoring process.
Just a few examples of where our experienced executives come from:
• Active Network • Quiksilver
• Callaway Golf • Red Door Interactive
• Calvin Klein • Road Runner Sports
• Digital Operative • SKLZ,
• Freedom Meditech, Inc. • TaylorMade – adidas Golf
• GUNNAR Optiks • Tickets.com
• MacGregor Golf • Under Armour
• Marchon Eyewear • Universal Studios
• New Balance • Wabsono Inc., Hangzhou China
• prAna • X-1 Audio
Having access to some of the best minds in Southern California’s SAL industry is priceless and is offered free to accepted companies as part of their SDSI membership dues. SDSI membership is $2,000 for SDSI Springboard participants and is good for one year from Intake Panel.
Just a few benefits of membership include:
• Access to nearly 50+ C-level executives on the SDSI Advisory Board
• Marketing and exposure to SDSI members and SAL industry at large
• Business introductions that lead to new partnerships and/or accelerate your growth
• Programs and events providing education, elite level networking
• Access to new technology and talent
• Advocacy on behalf of the industry
• Eligible for SDSI Springboard program consideration
Clarification on funding
SDSI Springboard is not a funding program and does not guarantee funding. SDSI Springboard is a mentoring program that prepares companies to be better positioned for success.
Disclosure and Confidentiality
The SDSI Springboard process is about your business, not your technology. We will not ask you to disclose any proprietary information about your technology or invention; however NO ONE INVOLVED IN SDSI– EITHER IN THE PREPARATION PHASE OR AT THE PANEL PRESENTATIONS – WILL SIGN A NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT. The SDSI team and volunteers have agreed to maintain the highest standards of integrity with regard to your business activities.
Renne Catalano Gussman