Like most great things, innovation often starts as a spark that, if well managed, can turn into a blazing fire. The Nike+ Accelerator is no exception. Today I had a unique opportunity to begin mentoring at the Nike+ TechStars accelerator in Portland, a new co-branded initiative aimed to propel Nike’s FuelBand through the digital innovation of 10 selected companies that will be focusing on inspiring athletes across the categories of gaming, training, and fitness and coaching.
The 10 teams selected from across the world will be facing a boot camp-worthy regiment, meeting with 100 noteworthy mentors and Nike executives in the first 3 weeks to gain feedback on their idea and hone their launch strategy as they leverage much desired FuelBand API and Nike+ mobile Software Development Kit.
Powered by Red Bull, endless supplies of Stumptown Coffee and beer, each company is laser focused on propelling digital innovation, health and fitness to extend the reach of the already successful Nike+ FuelBand.
This is a formula for success. There’s a no-nonsense, free thinking, open source mentality that creates an innovative environment for collaboration and ideation. For Nike, the success will be seen through leveraging brilliant minds to grow and extend FuelBand into new categories and applications, and in doing so, grow brand awareness and advocacy, even among those who are well outside of the traditional Nike consumer.