Tyler Suiters  0:11 

Hey, everyone. I'm Tyler Suiters here at the Consumer Technology Association. We own and produce CES. It is the biggest tech event on the planet. It is the largest tech event on the planet. This week, the confluence of technology and sports. For businesses, for fans, for athletes, professional and otherwise, it is technology that impacts athletic performance. It impacts fan engagement and the business of sports. Whether that's on the field or off the field. And we're talking to a group of tech investors, they are from the VC field, the CEO field and the HOF field. You'll find out what that means if you haven't clued in already. You're getting business insight from former pro athletes, and I think you'll recognize some of their names. These are folks whose current careers combined sports and technology. This is interesting stuff. It's strange to see someone who has had such a strong, well known athletic career get even better after that career comes to an end, and he or she is looking for something new. But former NBA All Star Baron Davis is a great example. And he's joining us now. Baron, good to have you here.

Baron Davis  1:31 

Thanks for having me.

Tyler Suiters  1:34 

I don't want to talk down your basketball career because it was long and it was stellar. No question. But man, you've become a VC superstar in the sports world. Tell us about what you're up to right now, before we delve any deeper.

Baron Davis  1:50 

Well for me, getting into the space, I started out building my own agency. And doing a lot of, kind of like my own marketing deals and deals out of survival. I think that for me, it allowed me to explore other arenas and other opportunities to see where growth and the market was shifting. And so, I kind of took that as an opportunity as an athlete to look at younger companies as the potential next generation of superstars in the world or companies that people say that are disruptive now. And more so out of survival and wanting knowledge, right. Really wanting to have the knowledge to learn, and knew that it was going to be a life after basketball and prepare myself for that.

Tyler Suiters  2:56 

Well, I think I don't want to carry the sports analogy too far. But in one sense, it's like becoming a sports franchise owner, right? You are the funding, you are ultimately calling so many the shots because you have the control. But to hear your excitement about it, it sounds like you enjoy playing the role of scout too. Discovering this talent and this opportunity, this innovation, well before it hits the market maybe before anybody else does.

Baron Davis  3:24 

Yes. I mean, I think that's the beauty of it. You get to start from scratch, right? And you get to learn a lot about people's tendencies. You get to learn about what you're capable of doing, right? As an investor, as an athlete, right? And where you can contribute, right? Because, for me, it's all about investing in things that I can contribute to. And so if I can do that, then I know that I can be a good teammate.

Tyler Suiters  4:04 

So how did you find your way into the technology sector at that point, because I think the natural transition for athletes, at least in the past. Has been things you really understand, well. That could be a restaurant, it could be a clothing line, they're the obvious partnership opportunities that it seems come up. When you move from just an endorser of a company or a product to a potential financial role. So what drew you to technology specifically?

Baron Davis  4:36 

For me, I was looking at the way technology was working and how I can use technology to influence what I was doing. Or bring technology into my space.

Baron Davis  4:49 

And so for me it was like, "Hey man, this thing's cool. I'll think I'll start a tech company". And so it was all about learning and learning on the fly. But at the same time, the way I looked at it is I was paying for business school. And I want to understand tech and how it pertained to what I was doing with my life.

Tyler Suiters  5:14 

I'd imagine that your time in the city with the Golden State Warriors must have had an influence. at the time as well, very much now. I mean, that's a hot spot for venture capital, internationally. Not just here in the U.S.

Baron Davis  5:30 

Yeah, you gain mentors, you gain coaches, you gain people who, really expect you and looking at the tech community. It's one of the most sharing communities as far as information. Like people want you to win it, right? Where there's so much competition, the competition is a line for us to innovate, right. And sometimes, you may have two or three companies out of that, but everybody's supporting and trying to help each other. And that's what I like about the tech community. So, when it was me that wanted to, start a tech company. The community was active, and they were supportive of everything that I was trying to do.

Baron Davis  6:25 

So how do you break into that? How do you go from the guy on the court that they see from 1-2-3 rows back, 41 nights a year to someone that you present yourself as a potential partner to these folks. Who were buying the suites or buying the courtside tickets or there to, spend time with you at behind the scenes parties that they pay for access to? How do you put yourself on that equal footing?

Baron Davis  6:54 

I think for me, it was the first company was ibeatyou.com. And it was like how can I use technology to do something that will be fun for me and my friends. So it was building a social platform. That allowed you and your friends to compete, whether it's a three-point contest best dressed, whatever it was.

Baron Davis  7:20 

And for the way we built our company, I always wanted to be a creator. And so we just needed to find the right people who could build the technology. Just through, meetings, knowing, doing a lot of research, and having a lot of good mentors and people like that. You come up on the right people.

Tyler Suiters  7:49 

But at the same time, it sounds like you are coming from a position that is so familiar in the startup world, which is you had a pitch in mind. You had an elevator story, you had your narrative set and you had already identified a potential audience. So you were coming ready with a pitch, not just with capital?

Baron Davis  8:09 

Right, I was prepared. Basketball has taught me that. If you are going to participate, you must practice and you must learn the fundamental skills. If you can bring to the table your talent and your qualities, then you can be a great asset team. That was my mentality, going into it. Be equipped, to be prepared. At every step of the way. And if I'm not prepared, then that's when I should be learning and asking for help.

Tyler Suiters  8:53 

So talk about the transition then Baron from when you're first starting out. As you said you're thinking about what you and your friends want to do, and how to aggregate that community through a tech platform to where you are let's say last year, when you come to CES. And you are among the most important tech influencers on the planet. How do you get from where you started to where you are now, in terms of understanding the community and having that pitch honed? Also, being on the other side, knowing how to read a pitch, knowing how to evaluate potential partners based on a half hour conversation? If not, a five-minute conversation?

Baron Davis  9:36 

Yeah, I think you have to go through it. You have to go through it, it's all part of the process. I paid the dues, I've looked at 100 companies this year. Done due diligence on them all. But I sat with, a lot of great investors to hear their thoughts and their takes on where they think the industry is going. Just important when you're at a place like that you can become overwhelmed. The most important thing for you to do is to take the time to listen. Listen, learn and be wide eyed. I treat CES like I'm a kid in the candy store. So, I know that there's going to be some really cool people to connect with and some really interesting companies. You can get overwhelmed. And I think that you spend the day and you'll enjoy all the great things that CES has to offer. Then the next day, it's all business. Making sure that you're prepared, that I'm prepared to go out. Whether it's a company that I'm meeting through an intro, or if this is a business deal then I'm sitting, and I need to make sure that's a game day for me. So, I'm not really that wide eyed, I am focused on all the things that I need to do and take care of.

Tyler Suiters  11:16 

Let's dive a little deeper into that Baron, because that's an interesting approach. This dichotomy of go there and be a fan, for lack of a better term, right? See what there is to see, touch, try feel all this amazing innovation, but you're able to flip a switch almost to get into business mode. What did you discover on the second half of that the back half of when you were in business mode, in CES and having those conversations and those important meetings?

Baron Davis  11:45 

It was showing up being prepared. There's media, there's some of the most innovative companies, new startups and all kinds of opportunity to be distracted that second day. But, I think that's why you want to take the first day and just enjoy yourself. The second day, I'm coming in and I know that I have a presentation or I have a business deal to get done. I'm going to be fully prepared and that's where my focus is going to be. [Inaudible]

Tyler Suiters  12:22 

You've had. Sorry Baron go ahead, pick it up, right where you want to.

Baron Davis  12:29 

Yeah, I was saying, more importantly, that's where my focus is going to be. Those are my destinations, I have landing destinations. When you see me day two, it's more staying focused on where I need to get to. If there's a break or something like that then, I can entertain a new conversation. But more importantly that second day, it's all about focus, it's all about, giving the attention to the client, the person who you're meeting with, because everybody is at CES to really enhance their business.

Tyler Suiters  13:17 

I don't know if you can separate the former NBA star from the current VC investor and tech visionary. Where do you see, as an investor Baron, sports and technology going as a sector and as an opportunity,

Baron Davis  13:36 

For one, sports are ever growing, and so the audience is only getting younger, and the older audience is only becoming more nostalgic. When you look at that, you're looking entire families now being able to enjoy entertainment. And entertainment that has a universal language and communication. And so I think sports from a technology standpoint, it's in its infancy. As far as being able to, connect fans, to the players. Players, to the fans, when you look at social media and players having their own voice.

Baron Davis  14:26 

That's really never ever happened, where each and every player is allowed to have a voice, and be somebody and be a brand. So, technology has a golden opportunity to connect. It has the opportunity to create more honest content and get you closer to the athlete. These athletes are 360 degree athletes, they want to be in tech, they understand technology better than a lot of the people investing in it. Actually users for instance, Fortnite and Esports and gaming. These kids are making it a thing. And we're following the trends that they're setting.

Tyler Suiters  15:30 

Baron I want to end with a business-related question. I'm sure you've had to compare yourself time and time again, on the court to your predecessors, what guard do you most see yourself like? Who's the one player you most want to emulate? What about now and your current role as an investor as a business leader who has a strategy and approach that you think? That's what I want to be in this sector.

Baron Davis  15:55 

For me, I think it's being an innovator, a creator in the sector. Not just somebody who's investing, right with somebody who is building something and has an opportunity to be known for building something that solves problems, right? A platform or a company, that's where I'm looking at. My focus is really about searching for innovation. And finding that team of people that are looking to be disruptors, with the next day, the next big product.

Tyler Suiters  16:38 

And the search continues at CES 2019. Baron Davis, former NBA All Star but becoming a rising star, really well-known voice and name in the technology investment sector as well. They are always good to talk to you, my friend. Thanks for being with us.

Baron Davis  16:55 

Really appreciate it. Thank you.

Tyler Suiters  16:58 

All right. Can you imagine having an Olympic gold medal and putting that second or third on your business resume? Angela Ruggiero has a gold along with three other Olympics medals for her time with the US women's hockey team. She also has an undergraduate, a graduate degree from Harvard University. She is a CEO in the confluence of the sports tech world. And she's joining us right now. Angela not to pump up your resume any further. But man, which comes first for you, sports or your entrepreneurial career?

Angela Ruggiero  17:31 

Oh man, it's all the same to be honest. There's a common theme I think you'll find from athletes and entrepreneurs. Just trying to apply that theme and do things that I'm passionate about and are willing to get up early and stay late for, so building my company at the Sports Innovation Lab in a way replaced my Olympic experience and dedication and winning gold medals for America.

Tyler Suiters  17:59 

So anyone, who hasn't dived into your background, it's easy to not long and say Sports Innovation Lab. I get it. You're CEO now and this is just after your time with the Olympic Committee. Of course, you were a medalist, this makes sense that you got into sports. But I don't want to gloss over the fact that you have an undergraduate degree from Harvard. You have a graduate degree from the University of Minnesota in sports management and you have an MBA from Harvard. I mean, that's as impressive a pre business resume as your amateur hockey career in some senses.

Angela Ruggiero  18:33 

Yeah, again. I love sports and education. I think sport is one of the best vehicles to learn intangible about yourself, about others working in a team, setting goals. I think education is a way to learn tangible. How do you build a performer, how do you build your marketing team, etc. So I think I tried to take the same approach I did early on in my hockey career. Which was, what are the things I can learn and prepare for if I want to be an Olympic gold medalist. On the business side, I said, What are the component pieces I need to know to be successful in business and education just gives me such a, an easy way to learn and quickly acclimate yourself. Hopefully, we're ready. I mean, we're building a company that doesn't exist in the market currently. I'm leveraging on my athletic background and my educational background as well.

Tyler Suiters  19:35 

So I'm very curious that you use the term learn so frequently there Angela. As CEO of Sports Innovation Lab, you are very much about data collection, data gathering data analysis, data usage around the sports sector. In a sense, helping fans and companies and athletes themselves, learn more about the entire arena, athlete performance, spectre.

Angela Ruggiero  20:05 

Yeah, exactly. So we're a research data analytics company. Built on software, the foundation is a software platform that gives us unique data sets and insights, that our analysts then go and dig deeper on a more qualitative manner. Again, same approach when I was about to get ready to play in my gold medal game against Canada. You better believe we had a scout and we had several scouts and we had a game plan. We knew what our competition was, we understood our strengths and weaknesses relative to our competitors. We could train every individual and again, that same approach makes common sense in business.Know who your competitors are. Know where the market is heading. Understand the data and for us, can we help and enable sports companies, technology companies, that are moving into this sector at an increasing pace. We've mapped over 3,500 companies to date, that are doing something around the sports tech sector and give them these insights that our company objectively curates and sources and give them access to that data. So they could, perform at their best. So a similar analogy, approach at least what you would use an athlete what I think any good business person should think about.

Tyler Suiters  21:29

Yeah, I hadn't thought of you all, as an outsourced scouting department. But that makes a lot of sense, when you run through the five areas that you all identify, approach and to a large degree quantify. What stands out for you what is the emerging category among those five, and it's probably best to start by listing all five. I could eventually get around to each of them without any help. But I know you've got them at your fingertips and can recite them by memory.

Angela Ruggiero  22:00 

Yeah, I'll do it quickly. So we've got five major trends that emerged based on our research, where's the bubbling on the supply side of the market around sports tech? One, you've got what we call immersive media, companies that are developing digital sports content that provides consumers with greater control or choice. They're accessible, social interactive, the nonlinear traditional way you would consume sports or any content for that matter. That's immersive media. Next-Gen sponsorship, the evolving way that technologies are helping brands, athletes and teens. Really create and measure the effectiveness of their digital experiences and integrate that into a very seamless way. So that your fans are actually understanding those brands better. Esports, everyone has to ask us about Esports. It is a sport, first truly digital sport. So we're really looking at the technology platforms that eSports sits on top of, and really trying to understand that and leverage the insights there to help create best practices across all sports.

Angela Ruggiero  23:12 

Smart venue is another one, really looking at venues of the future, prioritize speed, security, sustainability, if the goal is really to help your fans create an unforgettable experience before, during and after. And technology is changing the way that stadiums are built and run today. And then the last one I would say that we cover is called quantified athlete. Companies that are monitoring, measuring or predicting performance. So think about that as a quantified self. We see that in healthcare a lot, we see a lot of these companies, wearable companies, etc. And I'll just say Tyler, that's my favorite one. Because I lived that world for so long in sports, I was able to play in four Olympics and I really had to understand my body. And these companies are really enabling you to have unique data sets that prolong your hockey career or your life in sort of the healthcare system.

Tyler Suiters  24:15 

Well, another one of your partners at Sports Innovation Lab is Isaiah Kacyvenski, who is a former NFL player. Played for the Seahawks and the Raiders briefly. Another Harvard grad who made it into professional sports. I know there are dozens of you out there. But on the serious side, you're both former athletes. Do you get together and talk once in a while about how amazing this would have been, even just a decade ago to have this kind of data to analyze your own performance? Not just game the game but practice to practice?

Angela Ruggiero  24:49 

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, and that's the gold standard really.

Angela Ruggiero  24:56 

Can athletes have that extended team that can use data? To help them in their careers, so that you're treated in a personalized manner. The theme that comes out is, 10-20 years ago, every team and every athlete really does the same training program. Today, they're saying, well, what's your age? What's your player load? How did you sleep the night before? What kinds of injuries do you have? I mean, all these data sets now can be integrated, captured and understood. So that, Angela in her first Olympics gets treated very differently than Angela in her fourth Olympics, in terms of why am I needing more rest.

Angela Ruggiero  25:42 

And I might need more reps as a rookie, in my first go around with a younger, healthier body. So this idea of personalization is what the quantified athlete sector is all about and we're studying that. We have over 700 companies alone, that we've aggregated. A lot of those companies you'll actually see at CES, and they're doing interesting things, but will give an objective perspective sitting in the middle of that market. Saying, here are the companies we think that matter most, and here are the ones that might need more investment or more infrastructure underneath in that sector to be successful. So we're trying to give an objective voice to the athlete and eventually the team that's supporting those athletes.

Tyler Suiters  26:25 

Well, so back to your business roots Angela. Since your playing days to some degree, Next-Gen sponsorships. All right. This is getting businesses as closely integrated as possible, not just with the teams and the companies that are facilitating coverage of these teams, but also the athletes themselves, right?

Angela Ruggiero  26:46 

Yeah, next-gen sponsorship is a major focus of ours. Given how there's only a few revenue streams that typical teams currently have. Sponsorship is a big revenue stream, a big driver in how we're all able to watch fans or watch athletes. Next-Gen sponsorship is really saying, if we can use technologies to better understand what brands and teams should be associated or paired. Can we measure the effectiveness of digital experiences, then integrate those seamlessly with sports? Then, can we leverage social media as an example to allow athletes to better connect to their fans in a very targeted way.So next-gen sponsorship is really about making the market more efficient between sponsors, in the brands and the teams or the rights holders themselves. Between athletes and the brands that they're supporting. And ultimately creating more effective ways to measure return on investment. If you're making hundreds of millions of dollars, we're seeing now thrown around at the International Olympic Committee level and professional sports level. Well, they have to pay another fee on top of that to activate those sponsorships and engage with fans.So companies are actually using computer vision and AI machine learning to understand what impressions of those brands are on your TV screen or on your digital screen. And that in aggregate, you can understand the value then of the sponsorship. So the whole Next-Gen sponsorship market is evolving. And technology is paving the way for its evolution.

Tyler Suiters  28:32 

Tell me which of those five areas Angela has you the most excited right now. Serving time as an athlete, as a fan and as a business person. What really strikes you as the ripest opportunity for innovation from a B2B sense?

Angela Ruggiero  28:50 

For me, although I love the quantified athlete sector, I am really interested in immersive media. So I spent eight years on the IFC. One of the boards of serving on while I was there was the Olympic Channel. So it was the over the top platform and digital platform. That the Olympics said, well we can't reach our fans outside of every two years. And we see this at an increasing pace. Why don't we build another platform that lets you go direct to consumer basically, that's what's called the Olympic Channel.So this space called immersive media, to me is the most exciting it's creating new ways for fans to create content, to engage with content, to interact with that content and the Sports Innovation Lab talks about immersive media as the future of sport, really, where media is really accessible.

Tyler Suiters  29:49 

What do you see, Angela, as the opportunities since we're coming up on CES for you, at the intersection of sports and technology? To engage to find partnerships, to find ideas, what are you looking for from a CES strategic approach for Sports Innovation Lab?

Angela Ruggiero  30:09 

Yeah, we're really excited to be a part of the Sports Zone this year at CES, which is something we'll co produce with CES to develop this amazing four-day experience focused squarely on sports technologies. I believe the most innovative companies that are really developing novel technologies or approaches in the sports industry, are going to be on site. They're going to want to demonstrate their products and their capabilities. Really paired with this lively discussion, which will help curate on stage around these trends that we talked about today. How the whole business of sports is evolving, because of tech. And I'm excited because you'll have thought leadership there, you'll have curated content.You'll actually get to see and feel and touch the different companies that will bring their products. It's busy, it's crazy 170,000 people. So you got to really be focused and have a plan when you get there. It's a bit overwhelming. But I see it as really exciting opportunity to learn more, to network and to really see firsthand the cutting edge of where sports technology is headed.

Tyler Suiters  31:29 

Four Olympic medals, three business and sports related degrees. And one CEO position at Sports Innovation Lab. That's the briefest, I can summarize your resume. Angela Ruggiero, thanks again, we look forward to seeing you at Las Vegas CES 2019.

Angela Ruggiero  31:47 

Thanks, Tyler, it's been fun. Looking forward to see you there as well.

Tyler Suiters  31:53 

13 years in the NFL, one Pro Bowl, one spot as a first round NFL draft pick. Also, amazing exposure to business and tech insiders along the way. Shawn Springs has had quite a story not just as an NFL cornerback playing at an elite level. But now as a business and technology entrepreneur and Shawn it's great to have you with us.

Shawn Springs  32:17 

I'm glad to be on the show today.

Tyler Suiters  32:19 

So we were talking about your background and the fact that as I said you've had this amazing exposure to business and football is certainly an integral part of your life. But this opens some pretty remarkable doors throughout your professional career in the NFL.

Shawn Springs  32:36 

Yeah, that was important to me. One of the lessons I learned from my father was, the NFL is not for long. So make sure you develop friendships, relationships that can help you post career and you never know who could help you or what type of advice you can learn from different people you run across. So I've always took it to heart. Time to meet people and as a professional athlete a lot of people want to meet you, they want to hang out with you. So I would ask them questions.

Tyler Suiters  33:12 

Yeah, I can't imagine some of the business a few people want to talk with a professional athlete about but that's probably a different different kind of podcast. You refer to your dad, Ron Springs. Who had an impressive NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys, went to a few Super Bowls. So that's someone who certainly knew where he was speaking of when he talked about the opportunities you face. But you met someone just as influential. If not more so, in terms of what the business world held. Because as a rookie, you were drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. It's 1997, they're playing in the Old King Dome, right? Kind of a dump of a stadium by then. Playing on astroturf, which no one wants to do. You're going all the way across the country after growing up in the D.C. area, to a franchise with not much history, not much success. But you did have an owner who offered some pretty valuable insights to you.

Shawn Springs  34:08 

Yeah, it's a total change for me. And when I landed it was like a whole new world. I was fortunate to be drafted by Paul Allen. And most people know that Mr. Allen founded and started Microsoft with Bill Gates. And I just remember when he was purchasing the team, he put up a lot of his own money to build a stadium, but he still had to get the remaining votes from the county to contribute. And I remember just one time asking, Mr. Allen when we were together like "Hey, did you know you will become a billionaire or thinking about becoming a billionaire". And he just looked at me and said, "Hey it wasn't about becoming a billionaire. It was about doing something exciting and disruptive on this thing we call the internet today". In that, you saw all in Seattle, because I had buddies who worked for a company who were selling coffee and water and that company's Starbucks.

Shawn Springs  35:12 

My other buddy works with a company said, "Man, we're starting a company with books online". And that company today is Amazon. Microsoft was premium billionaire every 12 days. So I was fortunate enough to be put in a town. Now a big city, Seattle just, technology and innovation was there. It's not Silicon Valley, it's a silicon forest out there.

Tyler Suiters  35:36 

I've heard that term. I like it. How do you absorb that at such a young age? You're what, 21 years old coming out of Ohio State. Been on top of the world, right? And then told you're one of the best for years and years and years. And your focus? No question is football. And for better or worse, Seattle is a football team, their crazy about Seahawks. So how do you take the time? Or how do you have the awareness to think about life after football and really glean some wisdom from these people you met?

Shawn Springs  36:07 

Well, let me make one minor correction. No one in Seattle is crazy about the Seahawks as I am.

Tyler Suiters  36:15 

Touche, that's fair.

Shawn Springs  36:20 

Obviously, the Seahawks today was built on that foundation that Mr. Allen set when he bought the organization. But having a father to play in the NFL and talk to me about just networking and understanding relationships and the power of relationships. Never know who could help you later on in your life. Obviously people are excited to meet you because you are professional athlete and I just remember that kids want to be me. This guy will be the president of this company and he wanted his kids to meet me after the game. And I would say sure come over the house to play video games. But you're gonna have to tell me what you do. Kind of how I started, a lot of the credit goes to my dad. But just being 21-22 years old. Just fascinated and excited about what was going on in Seattle. I think it was a little contagious.

Tyler Suiters  37:12 

Well, your career continued right outside of Seattle, you spent time with the Washington Redskins and one season or so with the New England Patriots. Some pretty successful or at least well-known owners for those two franchises. What did you learn from business? Men like like Robert Kraft who owns the Patriots?

Shawn Springs  37:33 

Oh man, I tell you what, one of the most valuable lessons I've learned from Robert Kraft. I remember the first day I was there. That sound my time so I can sit down laughing good, like changing my clothes to go workout and Mr. Kraft came and sat down with us. And he said "Sean, my company is represented in 80,000 cities or counties. I have so many employees what's the best thing about Kraft and my company is?" I said no sir. He said, "The people who work for it" and he said "I’m glad you're a Patriot," and shook my hand. That right there was just a valuable lesson to everybody. You always good as a team with the people that you have. Building and helping you build your dream.

Tyler Suiters  38:22 

Let's dive into the business world. I mean, this is where things transition because inevitably, with very few exceptions, and your former teammate, Tom Brady is probably one of them. Do professional athletes get to leave a game on their own terms? Right? You always feel like you're another season you have more mileage, but you were exceptionally well prepared to transition into what's next. And I'd say Sean, you almost sound like you were excited to get into business and technology.

Shawn Springs  38:50 

Well, I did have a knee injury. But for the most part I thought about I thought about what my next life was. Football was always a platform to take me to the next level. So it was one of those things that my dad again in my ear was like use football as a platform and go to the next level into the business world and I took all those lessons learned. And made the most of it.

Tyler Suiters  39:18 

So here you are today, about a dozen employees full time based outside of D.C. in a town called Leesburg, Virginia. With a company called Windpact. Give me your elevator pitch.

Shawn Springs  39:34 

You got me all excited man.

Tyler Suiters  39:38 

It's a long elevator ride Shawn.

Shawn Springs  39:42 

Right. Windpact is a technology company. We provide better solutions for our host brands, in the sports technology world. Protection gear, military, automotive, so on. We are a full week as a component part, meaning we're more like an ingredient brand more like Intel or Gore-tex. We don't make the product, we make the product better. As it were, I like to say I sting like a ba ba B-A-S-S.

Tyler Suiters  40:14 

Copyright notification for everyone out there.

Shawn Springs  40:19 

But seriously, we have a technology that we believe can change the way we look at impact.

Tyler Suiters  40:27 

It's interesting that you're crossing over into so many other sectors. Because I think just as you can argue, every business, every industry has to have an element of technology or to some extent be a technology business today. It's hard to be in a single vertical, right? Even sports technology as crossover applications, especially when you're talking about your area of safety and protection and measurement and innovation.

Shawn Springs  40:55 

Right, you're absolutely right. But like you said, we focus on impact protection. The one thing about being an ingredient brand, we don't have to build the full product. So it allows us to take the learnings from the really smart people out there. Like the people see over at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) over there in Bethesda. When they talk about [inaudible] impacts, people in accelerations, universities and everyone who is studying the brain. So we try to take those learnings and bridge the gap between what the smart doctors are saying and medical professionals are saying. We have a technology that we take the learning. And we allow that, learning to work with our host brands. Like the ones who build the helmets. So we try to bridge that gap between the bio-medical professionals and the people who build a product to make the game safer.

Tyler Suiters  41:41 

From your perspective Shawn, being out of the league for about a decade now. How much has technology changed the game? You have a unique point of view, not only have you been in locker rooms and on the fields for so long in the NFL. You also are now in a sector that has so many applications that you need to monitor it for business. What are you seeing?

Shawn Springs  42:04 

Well, I will say when you say technology and sports technology. I think it's one of those industries number two behind cybersecurity, but sports technology from sensor and data collection. Now you can watch a basketball game and shot tracking and all those different things but two, impact protection and companies like mine and a sports helmet company like Vice's out in Seattle. Some of these companies are really coming with an innovative approach to include it in a game.

Tyler Suiters  42:37 

Windpact blows up. Right, you get series A you go an IPO and you are in defense and professional athletes and amateur sports all around the world. Are we going to see Shawn Springs NFL owner at some point?

Shawn Springs  42:53 

No, I don't know if I would own an NFL team. I love going to the NFL games and support. I think you will see Shawn Springs like center of innovation at Ohio State or something like that. We would go to some mechanical things or hanging out in Boston somewhere. That's me.

Tyler Suiters  43:17 

Yeah. If you've read Ready Player One you know that in 50 years, Columbus, Ohio, will be the internet capital of the world. So that might be the right place for it.

Tyler Suiters  43:31 

Former NFL pro bowler, current tech and business entrepreneur, Shawn Springs and a CES veteran. Great to talk to you, Sean. We'll see you in Las Vegas sometime soon, right?

Shawn Springs  43:42 

I will be there this year, I'm very excited.

Tyler Suiters  43:48 

All right, next week, it's a deep dive into digital health, AI, remote patient monitoring, wearable technology. These are addressing real world issues, including one of America's biggest current health crises.

Matthew Stoudt  44:05 

We've developed a chronic pain solution, that we're actually using your own bio data to help drive the solution that you see in VR. We're using breath as that input, and then we're tracking HRV as the output.

Tyler Suiters  44:21 

So that's that. Thanks, everyone, for joining us this week. Remember, you want to subscribe to this podcast we're getting you all prepped up for CES and with a subscription. You won't miss any of our episodes as you're gearing up for Vegas in January. And speaking of, we have the info you need on CES 2019. That's January 8-11 in Las Vegas. It's all at our website, CES.tech. As always, none of this is possible without our pair of superstars here in the studio: producer Tina Anthony and engineer John Lindsey. You guys are the best. I just sit here and talk really. All right. We're glad you're with us, and we'll talk to you next week, right? I'm Tyler Suiters. Let's talk tech again soon.