PUMA, SeventySix Capital Launch “Ralph Sampson Pitchfest” Challenge for Startups
Participants Eligible to Win Up to $20,000 in Funding to Pursue Innovative Ideas Related to Sports, Technology and Community
HOUSTON (April 22, 2019) – Today, PUMA and venture capital platform SeventySix Capital are announcing the official launch of the “Ralph Sampson Pitchfest,” a contest that will call on Houston-area entrepreneurs to pitch innovative business and philanthropic ideas (for-profit and not-for-profit) related to sports, technology and community for a chance to win up to $20,000 in startup funding.
Interested participants can submit their business proposals for consideration on SeventySix Capital’s website here: www.seventysixcapital.com/pitchfest. PUMA and SeventySix Capital will review all submissions and select up to 10 startups to present their ideas on Thursday, May 2 at WeWork Houston – the 708 Main Street location – between 6 pm CT and 9 pm CT in front of a panel of esteemed judges.
Sampson, a renowned Houston basketball legend and PUMA ambassador, will be on-hand to serve as a judge and one of many special guests in attendance. The No. 1 pick of the 1983 NBA Draft is hosting the event alongside PUMA and SeventySix Capital to celebrate teamwork on and off the court and innovation with the launch of his footwear collaboration with PUMA.
Finalists for the May 2 Pitchfest will be announced on Monday, April 29 at 12:00pm CT, where they will have four days to prepare to present their ideas in front of esteemed group of judges that include Sampson, Matthew Growney- Head of Special Projects at PUMA & Managing Partner of Fabulous Brands, Chad Stender- Managing Director of SeventySix Capital, and Kiotti Brown- Radio DJ from 97.9 The Box.
Sampson will kick-off the Pitchfest with a brief keynote before the finals begin pitching from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm CT. Judges will deliberate for the next half-hour, announce a winner and celebrate an evening of entrepreneurship with a reception for all attendees until 9 pm CT.
PUMA is one of the world’s leading sports brands, designing, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories. For 70 years, PUMA has relentlessly pushed sport and culture forward by creating fast products for the world’s fastest athletes. PUMA offers performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in categories such as Football, Running and Training, Basketball, Golf, and Motorsports. It collaborates with renowned designers and brands to bring sport influences into street culture and fashion. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf and Dobotex. The company distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs more than 13,000 people worldwide, and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany. For more information, please visit http://www.puma.com.
About SeventySix Capital
SeventySix Capital is a sports tech venture capital company led by Wayne Kimmel, Jon Powell and MLB superstar, Ryan Howard. The fund invests in passionate, smart and nice entrepreneurs who are launching game-changing tech startups in the sports tech, esports and sports betting industries. SeventySix Capital is building the go-to venture capital platform for executives, influencers, and professional athletes, offering unique opportunities for them to invest in sports tech startups, and for entrepreneurs to access the financial and social capital that they have to offer. SeventySix Capital’s Athlete Venture Group allows players to invest, learn, and work directly with top sports tech startups and entrepreneurs. The firm aims to bridge the gap between athletes, entrepreneurs, and investors by creating opportunities for athletes to become tech investors and for entrepreneurs to access the financial and social capital that professional athletes have to offer. Athlete Venture Group members, including Ryan Howard, DeMarco Murray, Ralph Sampson and Brian Westbrook, work hands-on with SeventySix Capital's portfolio companies.