Introduction

Sports Engineering, Inc. (SEI) is a Delaware Corporation, formed to commercialize a new type of athletic shoe technology. The company believes that this invention will help make basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse, and other sports safer for participants of all ages. Sports Engineering, Inc. has exclusively licensed the patented technology and worldwide rights to the impact absorbing footwear from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). WPI is a private research university in Worcester, Massachusetts, focusing on the instruction and research of technical arts and applied sciences.

SEI’s development team from WPI is led by Professor Christopher Brown, PhD, FASME, former All-American ski racer, ski coach, and member of UVM Athletic Hall of Fame. Dr. Brown has researched orthopedics and ski injuries since 1980, leading students and presenting throughout the US and Europe.

Objective

The objective of this fully patented footwear is to reduce the risk of ankle, knee, and foot injuries in athletics, without diminishing athletic performance.

Product/Technology

The unique device is integrated into an athletic shoe that will reduce the risk of knee, foot and ankle injuries by absorbing loads that might otherwise lead to injury.

The absorption part of the sole has a specially designed set of springs that transmit loads consistently across horizontal sliding and vertically collapsing interfaces in the sole for ordinary play.

Market and Application

This platform technology could be used in:

  • Sports/Athletics
  • The Military
  • Firefighting
  • Construction
  • Law Enforcement
  • Hiking
  • Marching
  • Casual Footwear (line between sports and casual shoes has blurred)

Commercial Opportunity

The global footwear market is currently $350 billion. The global athletic footwear market is $84 billion. The US athletic footwear market is $22 billion. The company is not aware of any other similar type of injury-reduction footwear being developed.

We believe that over the next 12 months, SEI will be positioned to penetrate the US and foreign footwear market.

Competitive Advantages

The SEI injury-preventative footwear technology has a comprehensive patent suite. There is an issued patent, Patent# 9,730,486, dated 8-15-2017, and subsequent IP filed since that issuance. The company and legal counsel are not aware of any product that is similar.

Testing and timeline

By mid-August 2018, the team should be able to assemble a working shoe prototype, incorporating the new technology developed in the last year. This will be installed in a commercial shoe. The sole will have significantly better control of load transmission and be more robust than the original proof of concept version. It will be bench tested and tested on a force plate.

Following testing, evaluation, and incorporation of appropriate design adjustments in the next generation prototype, a small trial production run is planned. We anticipate being ready for testing and evaluation by the end of August 2018 and producing 8-10 pairs at WPI by end of September 2018 for testing on the field and court.

The small trial run will be tested in simulated play situations with in-shoe force measurements. They will then be stripped down, examined and evaluated for ways to improve the design before a larger trial production run that should be accomplished in October 2018.

The company plans to test the finished product with a third party. This could be a medical center with expertise in orthopedics.

  • July 2018 – Working shoe prototype assembled
  • August 2018 – Working prototype ready for testing and evaluation
  • Sept. 2018 – Small run (8-10 pairs) produced for testing on field and court
  • Oct. 2018 – Small run improved and updated and larger run created for testing by end of Oct.