Silicon Prairie News

Nebraska Global funds EliteForm, maker of high-tech sports training tools

Lincoln January 19, 2012 by Michael Stacy Only 14 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

Through the use of touch screens and 3D computer vision tools, EliteForm enables coaches to push prescribed workouts to athletes and for athletes to get real-time feedback on workouts. 

With its latest investment, Nebraska Global is using its software development muscle to help, well … develop muscle.

The Lincoln-based software investment fund today announced its fifth investment: EliteForm, a company that makes tools for collecting and analyzing workout data and tailoring lifting regimens to help coaches and athletes get the most out of time spent on workouts.

The company is launching with two products, StrengthPlanner and PowerTracker — more on those in a moment — and one high-profile partner. 

EliteForm has teamed with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln athletic department to develop StrengthPlanner and PowerTracker. Nebraska is the first customer for the system and is currently using a prototype system in the Ndamukong Suh Strength Complex and the Hawks Championship Center.

“Working with EliteForm allows the Huskers to utilize leading-edge technology in strength and conditioning," Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said in a press release. "We are very pleased to be involved with the innovative people at EliteForm."

StrengthPlanner is a strength training management system that enables coaches to design workouts, track athletes' training development and generate personalized strength cards for those athletes. StrengthPlanner aims to cut down on the time-consuming job of prescribing workouts so that coaches can spend more time interacting with athletes. 

Once coaches have developed workouts for their athletes using StrengthPlanner, they can push those workouts to touch pads at the weight rack. As athletes log in on those touch pads, they are presented with their customized workout. After workouts, coaches can review athletes' efforts online, comparing them against historical data and making adjustments.

Meanwhile, PowerTracker provides realtime feedback for athletes in the weight room. Using patent-pending algorithms and 3D computer vision tools, PowerTracker tracks the movement of athletes during strength exercises without the use of wired attachments. A touchscreen interface at the lifting station gives athletes live feedback on their workout, providing guidance without requiring the presence of a coach. 

EliteForm believes StrengthPlanner and PowerTracker can be used at all levels of organized athletics, providing value by capturing objective metrics that are otherwise lost, and thus enabling athletes to train more intelligently and efficiently.

"EliteForm is exciting to Nebraska Global because they have managed to develop some incredibly leading-edge technology and evolve it into a large market opportunity where the technology itself is invisible to the customer," Steve Kiene, managing principal at Nebraska Global, said in the release. "The solutions they have developed are simple, elegant, and cost-effective. We're pleased to have invested in such a talented group of young Nebraskans, and feel very fortunate to have five of them come from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management."

Added Brian Zimmer, general manager at EliteForm: "Living and growing inside Don't Panic Labs allowed our team to develop the talent and experience necessary to identify and solve an incredibly complex technical challenge. Together we've produced a solution where many others have failed, and we've taken a substantial step towards building the next competitive edge within athletes. The resources at Nebraska Global allowed us to move faster, make fewer mistakes, and get access to people in the sports industry that would have otherwise been out of reach."

EliteForm joins four other companies Nebraska Global has invested in with its $37.3 million fund. Nebraska Global previously announced funding of Don’t Panic Labs, Nebraska Global's "people incubator" and the training ground for its in-house software development muscle; EC3H, which provides software solutions for processing deceased debtor accounts; ICORA, a software vendor with a program that enhances Microsoft Dynamics; and Beehive, a producer of infrastructure management software.

Nebraska Global was established in 2010 with the goal of launching 10 companies in five years.

Image credits: Screenshot of EliteForm touchscreen software from eliteform.com. Photo of Tom Osborne from huskers.com. Photo of Steve Kiene from nebraskaglobal.com. Photo of PowerTracker from eliteform.com

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