Houston just nabbed a budding tech startup…from Silicon Valley.
Win-Win, a sports tech company run by Houston native and former NFL linebacker Mike T. Brown, announced earlier this month that the company is relocating to the Bayou City.
Win-Win is a tech-enabled platform where sports fans can give donations to their favorite athletes’ causes. Fans can also win prizes and experiences with pro athletes.
Brown moved to Silicon Valley in 2014 and launched his company two years later. Win-Win has raised $1.2 million in funding, and recently launched an equity crowdfunding campaign. According to InnovationMap, Win-Win is “ready to…launch full-scale during the 2019 NFL season.”
So what prompted Brown and Win-Win to come back to Houston?
In an article posted on The Cannon's blog earlier this month, Brown said the event energized him. “After visiting The Cannon, I immediately felt the energy and have witnessed their commitment to pushing Houston’s tech startup movement," said Brown. "I can’t wait to get fully plugged into the city’s ecosystem, to start hiring local talent and raising money from local investors.”
The Cannon, a coworking space and entrepreneurial hub, wrote that hundreds of potential investors and supporters showed up at the event to hear from startups, including Win-Win.
The accelerator said this sector — where technological innovation and sports intersect — “boasts a wide variety of potential tracks, including wearable technology, medicine, e-sports, training, ticketing platforms, and everything in between.”
Founder and CEO Lawson Gow said the sports startup world is a fast-growing and high-potential industry in the global startup ecosystem — and Houston is extremely well-positioned to be the home for sports tech startups.
“There is no global hub for sports tech,” said Gow. “And sports tech is broad. It includes gaming, [there’s a] medical crossover…It bleeds into so many different things.”
Sports tech is an industry booming in the billions. According a recent report, the global sports tech market was valued at nearly $9 billion in 2018, and is projected to reach more than $31 billion by 2024.
Gow said Win-Win’s move to Houston makes sense because the city has so much to offer startup companies.
“Houston has a lot of the raw ingredients. We have a huge corporate presence, we have money, we have access to great universities. Houston is really poised to get it right,” said Gow.
He also said Win-Win's relocation is a testament to the area's exploding startup community.
“Houston has long needed better entrepreneurial resources to stop our startups from leaving for greener pastures, and we are excited to be part of the local entrepreneurial growth over the last couple of years, helping to provide a landing spot for a young, growing company like Win-Win," said Gow.
Win-Win is expected to move to Houston and into The Cannon later this summer.