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Innovation & technology at the ActiveLab live final

Tania Swift and Steve present at Activelab

After months of hard work, the final of the start-up accelerator competition ActiveLab took place last week. Held at The Crystal in London and hosted by BBC technology journalist Kate Russell, the event consisted of panel sessions with entrepreneurs from the digital and physical activity landscapes, plus the opportunity for the ActiveLab entrepreneurs to present their ideas to the conference ahead of the vote to win a ukactive accelerator toolkit worth more than £25,000.

After months of hard work, the ActiveLab final was held in London giving the 12 startups the chance to win the accelerator prize worth £25,000.

If you needed any more proof that fitness tech is the future, then the one-day ActiveLab live final was the ultimate demonstration of the relationship between physical activity and technology. Mars One chief executive Bas Lansdorp shared his vision for the ground-breaking project to colonise Mars by 2032 and Thought Expansion Network founder Jonathan MacDonald addressed the potential for societal change brought about by the digital landscape. In addition, Tech City UK Chief Operating Officer MB Christie gave an overview of digital technology as the growth engine for the future. The panels also explored how artificial intelligence, wearable tech, apps and gamification could impact the physical activity landscape and help millions of people.

ActiveLab live pitch

Finally, the time had come for the 12 ActiveLab finalists to present their ideas as the final round in the fight for the ukactive accelerator toolkit.

Each finalist was given 60 seconds to outline their mission and given 90 seconds to answer questions from the judges. Tania Swift, Programme Leader for Exercise Medicine, was speaking on behalf of Amaven and took to the stage as the first start-up to present. After presenting, the judges quizzed Tania on investment, competitors and what makes Amaven unique. Tania explained that Amaven was focusing on developing the Exercise Medicine sector and looking for partners who can introduce us to the NHS and private healthcare organisations. She explained that Amaven provides a clear picture of where a person is at physically at specific points in their lives, then we use that evidence to provide solutions and online programmes to help individuals and practitioners to improve their health.

Despite Amaven’s efforts, Imoves, a digital teaching platform to encourage dancing in schools, was named the inaugural winner of the accelerator programme. PK vaish, co-founder of Amaven commented on the result.

“While it would have been wonderful to say that Amaven had won the accelerator competition, we couldn’t have lost to a better competitor. Myself and the team at Amaven have learned a lot throughout our time at ActiveLab and met some fantastic contacts who could help accelerate our growth. We wish Imoves the best of luck in the future and hope that they use the prize to reach a greater number of children and boost activity levels.”

ukactive Executive Director Steven Ward said the strength of the finalists proved the depth of talent around physical activity sector innovation. He said: “Technology is presenting opportunities and challenges to the physical activity sector at unprecedented pace, meaning we must embrace new ways of working and innovative partners to survive and succeed. The years ahead offer a golden age for physical activity ventures with innovation at their core. Today’s physical activity leaders see technology not as a risk to be managed, but a major opportunity to hit new heights. We have to be open and fearless in evaluating our current strategies and calculating how they must adapt to the challenges of the future.” 

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