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6 Failed Sports Startups & the Reasons Behind

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On Deck is where top talent comes to accelerate their ideas and build companies, surrounded by a world-class community.

There are a lot of things to consider when building a new startup - where to get funding, how to validate your idea, and what features should the product have.

One of the challenges is finding a market that is willing to pay for your solution without even knowing what it is yet.

However, 90% of startups will fail and shut down.

In this article, you can find 6 failed Sports startups as well as analyses on why they closed down.


6 Failed Sports Startups

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Shipitwise

Shipitwise

ShipItWise was a way of booking shipping services. However, the transportation companies involved weren’t eager on jumping on this new technology.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Aleksander Gansen, Anna Medjanskaja, Olari Miiter, Ragmar Saksing & Sander Gansen

  • Country:

    Estonia

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Hawthorne Strategies

Hawthorne Strategies

Michael Hawthorne Jr. was the founder of Atlanta-based consulting agency Hawthorne Strategies LLC. The agency worked with NFL Players to develop their philanthropic foundations and awareness campaigns to address community issues that they cared about. Read on to know how overwhelm, overwork, and failing to scale led the potentially-profitable business to the ground.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Michael Hawthorne

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Mongoose Cricket

Mongoose Cricket

In 2009, Thomas Evans began working alongside Marcus, the creator of a radical new cricket bat named the Mongoose. After spending over $130,000 on glitzy marketing, and failing to break through the heavily traditional cricket market, they were forced to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Thomas Evans

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2011

  • Funding Amount:

    $100K-$500K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Marketing

You can read more about their failure here.

Sport Draftr

Sport Draftr

Will created Sport Draftr, a Daily Fantasy Sports site in the UK, offering leagues in the English Premier League, and UEFA Champions League. The product was loved, looked great, and it worked well, but due to a lack of knowledge in the gambling industry and changes in legislation, they were forced to close the company.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Will Laurenson

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Legal Challenges

You can read more about their failure here.

Tandem

Tandem

Tandem was a live streaming platform for fitness. Cause of failure? Live fitness isn't that engaging. Influencers were reluctant to adopt a new platform.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Nick Raushenbush

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

VO2 Sportswear

VO2 Sportswear

After realizing no triathlon clothing brand was properly catering to the market from a design point of view, Matthew decided to do it himself and started VO2 Sportwear. Through social media, sponsorships, and SEO, the business made £250k its third year, but then failed to manage their cash flow and had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Matthew Tomkin

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

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