Since its creation in 2015, Paris&Co’s Le Tremplin (‘the springboard’) has been supporting project leaders eager to transform tomorrow's sports through innovation.
Among all the sport verticals, access to physical activity comes back every year as one of the strongest themes for startups wishing to integrate Le Tremplin.
However, despite the growing number of startups incubated at Le Tremplin, not enough projects were specifically aimed at facilitating access to sports for women. Also, although Le Tremplin is committed, alongside Willa, to developing women's entrepreneurship, too few projects are led by women (despite an increase since the first promotions, only 20% of founders have been women since 2015). A question then arises: would female entrepreneurs be the best ambassadors in coming up with ways to contribute to democratizing the practice of women's sports?
Three startups that have just completed the Willa Sprinteuses program and were selected as part of the 7th Le Tremplin class have come up with some solutions which give us the first element of an answer. These women entrepreneurs all propose innovative and relevant solutions to engage more women in physical activity and sports.
All 3 startups are positioned on promising markets -- dance for Vibz, cycling for Wilma, and soccer for Manita -- and address access to sports for women.
The Vibz application is based on the success of TikTok and its numerous "dance challenges". Vibz allows you to learn different dance styles through tutorials created by professionals, available on subscription. VIBZ is the dance app that allows you to invite your choreographer into your home, thanks to Augmented Reality. Thus, Vibz tends to democratize access to the practice of dance.
"Vibz is the freedom to express your emotions through your body and through dance. Our vision is to give everyone the opportunity to practice a creative and recreational sport." - Xuan-Vi Tran, founder of Vibz.
The cycling market is booming, showing strong growth in the number of female cyclists. These are the women Wilma wants to reach with its durable fabric and feminine lifestyle brand. Wilma is the women's cycling clothing brand that puts innovation and community at the heart of its development.
"I am happy to proudly carry the cause of women in sports and I thank Le Tremplin and Willa for participating in feminizing sports and sportstech, even if there’s still a lot of work to do." - Céline Champonnet, founder of Wilma.
After the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019, the number of female players has increased significantly. Although the French Football Federation counted more than 200,000 licensed players in 2020, the number of non-licensed players has also increased significantly. Manita oversees the community of unlicensed players and offers them the opportunity to participate in 100% female training sessions and/or matches. Manita democratizes women's recreational soccer by creating a 100% digital and ultra-flexible soccer club, dedicated to all women. Via the platform, the players register for training sessions and matches offered à la carte.
"We were fortunate to be supported by Willa in the launch and development of Manita. Today, Manita's integration with Le Tremplin will allow us to expand the concept and model on a larger scale." - Camille Amar, founder of Manita.
Find the video presentations of the three startups below.
All these innovative solutions have been listed thanks to the partnership between Willa and Le Tremplin, along with the FDJ and the City of Paris. Since 2016, the Sprinteuses acceleration program has enabled 23 startups founded by women to be supported in their development over 6 months. At the end of this period, the startups can apply to Le Tremplin. Since 2016, 11 startups from the Sprinteuses program have joined Le Tremplin, where these women entrepreneurs are supported in moving toward their new goals.
For Le Tremplin, it is equally a privilege to support these ambitious and relevant projects, to gain expertise and to promote women's entrepreneurship with the FDJ, the City of Paris and Willa. This partnership proves that when large groups, institutions and startups work hand in hand, concrete results follow.
Vibz, Wilma and Manita, all led by women with strong entrepreneurial profiles, will help to transform sports in the coming years thanks to their impact on how sports are played.