Industry News 2/10/2015

B$Z: SDSI Now Accepting Applications for Mentoring Program for Sports and Active Lifestyle Companies

SD Sport Innovators (SDSI), the business accelerator that connects and drives the growth of Southern California’s vibrant sports and active lifestyle (SAL) economy, is now accepting applications for SDSI Springboard sponsored by BuchalterNemer through March 8.  

SDSI Springboard is a four-month intensive business accelerator program for growing SAL companies that pairs qualified entrepreneurs with CEOs, finance and marketing executives from leading SAL companies, for hands on mentoring. The purpose is to fine-tune company business plans and assist in creating sustainable and scalable business models — all in preparation for strategic partnership and outside investment opportunities. There is no cost to apply, but upon acceptance companies must become SDSI members to participate.

SDSI Springboard provides access to some of the best minds in Southern California’s SAL industry, for advice on how to grow your business so you can experience the same kind of success they have. Learn more about the industry veterans that make up SDSI’s mentors group.

“The SDSI Springboard program is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to be coached and mentored by enthusiastic, independent, experienced fellow entrepreneurs and skilled executives. The evolution of each participating company from start to finish is truly remarkable. Not only do they have a clear picture of their business model and plan, they have recharged enthusiasm and confidence to pitch their company and to interchange in dialogue with potential investors and strategic partners on how to value their business,” explains SDSI Business Advisor Rich Martin.

“The combination of a dedicated multi-skilled mentor team that "adopts" the candidate, and a broad-based supportive panel of independent mentors who periodically evaluate the candidate's presentation and progress, is invaluable!”

To date, 48 companies have graduated from SDSI Springboard since it became a standalone program from CONNECT in 2011. Ninety percent are still in business, have raised $28.8M in capital funding and have created 94 jobs. While SDSI’s resources are located in Southern California, Springboard is open to companies outside of the region; however travel to San Diego is required. SDSI Springboard graduates include StrongVolt,, Arcade Belts, Bon Affair and Electrozyme.

“The mentoring I received in my first meeting alone was some of the most priceless business information I have ever learned,” says 2013 SDSI Springboard Graduate Kristen Buchanan, founder GoodOnYa. “For a small business owner to be able to connect with the level of people that donate their time to SDSI is priceless. I feel like I have real, inside information on how the best brands became successful.”

Learn more and apply at or contact Renne Catalano at

To become an SDSI mentor and join the dynamic group of talented industry executives contact Renne Catalano at