TPI Transition Academy Accelerator Program 2021-2022

Applications for this online 12-week accelerator program are open August 3rd. Applications close September 13.

Program dates are October 4 – January 13th, 2022
Demo Day: January 12, 2022
Pause for the holidays: December 23 - January 3

A Startup experience like no other. 

Created by The Players’ Impact and Transition Sports & Entertainment, The Academy startup accelerator is purpose-built for visionary entrepreneurs who are current or former professional, Olympic, or NCAA Division 1 athletes as well as professional artists/entertainers who want to take their new venture to the next level.
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What is it?

A 12-week intensive program designed to build your founder skills, mentor network and fundraising capacity that brings years of best practices and knowledge about launching startups in order to accelerate your venture. You will work with your dedicated mentor, learn from expert speakers, engage with your peers, and participate in skill-building workshops, pitching practice sessions, office hours, and more. During the program, you will make invaluable connections to potential customers, partners, investors, and industry experts. After the program ends, you become part of an elite network of people who are committed to your success as an entrepreneur. 
 
The program culminates with a “Demo Day” where invited investors, community members, partners, influencers and friends will listen to your pitch. Afterwards, for founders looking to fundraise, we’ll make connections to investors who want to meet with you one on one.

Averie Collins, Co-Founder of 1Team and current Professional Soccer Player in the NWSL, had some amazing things to say about TPI Transition Academy!

The Details

We’ll select up to 10 ventures for this year’s cohort. We are geography agnostic, the program will be delivered virtually. We welcome startups from any industry and at any stage. Solo founders are invited to apply, but we’d encourage you to look for a co-founder or begin to build out a team before starting the program. Our criteria for selection includes:
  • At least one founder must be affiliated as a former athlete or artist.
  • Desire and commitment to commercialize the business.
  • Ability to participate full time in the program over 12 weeks, October 4 - January 13 2022. Required synchronous sessions will take place at least two times per week for approximately 2 hours. Sometimes more. 
 

Sponsored by:

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Some commonly asked questions with answers can be found here. 
Other questions can be sent to Emma Way  and we’ll get right back to you. 
Who is eligible to apply?
Any current or former professional, Olympic or Division 1 athlete or a professional artist/entertainer is eligible for the program. At least one founder of the team must have this affiliation to be considered.
What stage should my startup be in?
You can apply at any stage but, at a minimum, it should be beyond the idea stage in order to get the most from your experience in the program. 
Do I need to quit my day job to participate?
You don’t need to quit your job but if you are participating you are committing to attend all required sessions and meetings with the cohort and your mentors. Most weeks, the group sessions/cohort meetings that are synchronous will be 1-2 hours at most. These sessions will be 2-3 times per week. You can schedule one on ones with your mentors when it’s convenient for both of you. As long as your job provides the flexibility for you to attend these sessions and commit to the program, you can manage your own time. However, in order to get the most from the program we recommend that you are able to commit to at least 12-15 hours per week working on your business.
Are there certain industries that are preferred?
No, we are open to accepting the top entrepreneurs in any industry. 
What is the application process?
Applications are open March 22nd – April 22nd.
First, fill out the application in its entirety, the more we know about you and your business the better. Second, we’ll screen the applications and decide who gets invited to interview. You will be notified either way. Next, if invited to interview with the selection team, you will have a half hour zoom meeting. Last, if you make it in you’ll be notified by May 3rd and need to commit to your spot in the program by May 5th. 
What does a typical week in the program look like?
There are opportunities to connect and learn throughout the week. 
Monday: cohort meeting, updates (required); office hours with experts (optional)
Tuesday: mentor 1:1 meetings; pitch practice (required)
Wednesday: workshop/skill building session; office hours (optional)
Thursday: pitch practice (required); office hours or mentor meetings (optional)
What topics will the program cover?
Our program covers customer discovery, product/market fit, marketing and customer acquisition, founder financials, branding, sales and business development, startup culture, pitching, and fundraising strategy. We’ll also spend time with you before the program begins to design sessions that are specific to where you are now with your company.
Are there any in-person events this year?
No, the program will be entirely virtual. Post-program alumni events will be planned for a later date so that we can meet in person (if desired).
Does my team and/or co-founder need to participate in the program too?
No, your whole team, if you have one, does not need to attend the sessions in the program but can attend speaker events if they would like to. It is highly recommended that your co-founder participates in the program, but it isn’t required to be accepted.

ABOUT OUR TEAM

LEADERS, ENTREPRENEURS, AND CONNECTORS
Unique to The Academy is the curated network and expertise of the TPI and Transition communities of pro athletes, investors, entrepreneurs, business strategists and CEOs. This community will support your startup journey long after The Academy experience ends.
 
Meet the leaders of TPI and Transition Sports and Entertainment who will bring this first of its kind accelerator to life.

Leading TPI Transition Academy Program

 

Award-winning startup mentor, business advisor and entrepreneurship educator, Debi Kleiman has over a decade of experience coaching founders and building startups. Most recently, she was Executive Director of the Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College, the nation’s #1 College for entrepreneurship.

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CEO/Founder, The Players’ Impact

 

CEO and Co-Founder and an attorney by training, an entrepreneur in spirit, and an executive leader through experience. 

Tracy Deforge has focused for more than a decade in the sports industry on start-up companies, technology offerings, and pioneering business initiatives.

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CEO, Transition Sports and Entertainment

Years of Global Experience, with attention to detail and knowledge of what works, Shannon Judd, helps organizations and individuals create effective and lasting strategies focused on brand and business growth.

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Founder & President, Transition Sports and Entertainment

Don Povia is recognized as a trailblazer and influencer in the sports digital space for his work to bridge the gap between traditional media and the social web. In 2009, he created a first-of-its-kind new media sports conference series and platform, and has worked with public relations and digital agencies to help develop and implement strategies for sports and lifestyle brands both on a national and global scale.

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More about this year’s program:

We’ll select up to 10 ventures for this year’s cohort. We are geography agnostic, the program will be delivered virtually. We welcome startups from any industry and at any stage. Solo founders are invited to apply, but we’d encourage you to look for a co-founder or begin to build out a team before starting the program.
 
Our criteria for selection includes:
  • At least one founder must be affiliated as a former athlete or artist.
  • Desire and commitment to commercialize the business.
  • Ability to participate full time in the program over 12 weeks, October 4 2021 - January 13, 2022. Required synchronous sessions will take place at least two times per week for approximately 2 hours. Sometimes more. 

TPI Transition Academy is an initiative of TPI Global, Inc a  Not for Profit entity