NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aktivate, a sports technology platform for K-12 schools, today announced its public launch and the closing of a $7MM seed financing round that will fund the development of a market-leading sports administration platform and scholastic sports community. The funding round was led by Will Ventures, with participation from Tal Ventures, Village Global – the venture firm backed by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Diane Greene, and Reid Hoffman – as well as TechAviv, Benson Oak Ventures, and angel investors Zeke Emanuel and Howard Morgan.
Aktivate was founded with a mission to transform how scholastic sports are managed and funded, and to reduce the financial barriers that prevent more students from experiencing the positive benefits of participation in sports and other school activities. Through the delivery of a comprehensive software-as-a-service (SaaS) administration and engagement platform, Aktivate is modernizing the highly fragmented, $35B+ youth sports and activities market. With a powerful software platform as its base, Aktivate is building a community that brings together student-athletes, their families, schools, and valued partners.
Aktivate was founded by serial entrepreneurs Hesky Kutscher and Dhruv Singh, who have collectively launched seven technology companies in the digital media, healthcare / wellness and educational technology industries. They are joined by fellow co-founder and Chairman Jon Miller, a digital media veteran who previously served as chairman and CEO of America Online, CEO of Hulu & Digital Media at News Corp, and held senior executive roles at the predecessor to IAC and the National Basketball Association.
“We are strong believers in the transformative impact that sports can have on the lives of young people,” said Hesky Kutscher, Founder and CEO of Aktivate. “Our goal is to support schools with the most advanced administrative tools and to build a thriving community around scholastic sports and activities that enables more students the opportunity to participate.”
Through recent acquisitions and integrations of Utah-based Register My Athlete and New York-based Sportz Ventures, Aktivate now powers student-athlete administration for over 1,300 K-12 schools and 1.5 million athletes across 30 states and has strategic relationships with numerous state athletic associations including Texas’ University Interscholastic League.
“Youth sports is a massively growing industry, yet scholastic sports have long lacked the operational technology that exists at the collegiate and professional levels,” said Brian Reilly, Managing Partner of Will Ventures, the funding round’s lead investor. “We believe in the power of Aktivate’s software and its community to introduce levels of utility and connectivity that will support student-athletes in maximizing their potential through sports.”
“While technology innovations have had a major influence in increasing access and impact on the academic side, the level of innovation in scholastic sports administration and community development has been comparatively low,” said Anne Dwane, Co-Founder & Partner at Village Global. “Aktivate has a huge opportunity to bring online a very unique and sizable community, while better supporting student-athletes and their families.”
Aktivate has also named three education technology and sports industry leaders to key founding executive positions at the company. These include Brian Cooley who joins as chief commercial officer following numerous sales and marketing roles at EVERFI, Blackboard and IBM. At education technology company EVERFI, he served as chief business officer, chief marketing officer and president of sports and entertainment, while leading partnerships with dozens of sports leagues, teams and brands that annually engaged millions of students.
Sara Petry has been named chief product officer after leading numerous product development and management teams at education technology companies 2U, Trilogy Education, and General Assembly. Shane Emmons joins Aktivate as chief technology officer having led engineering for TeamSnap, a sports technology leader with tens of millions of users. Together, Petry and Emmons will lead the development of a revolutionary new scholastic sports and activity management platform and marketplace community.
Aktivate is a technology company focused on delivering the most advanced technical tools for scholastic sports administration and reducing the financial barriers that prevent many student athletes from competing. Founded in 2021, Aktivate has developed a comprehensive sports administration platform and a thriving community that brings together student-athletes, their families, schools, and valued partners. The company is backed by prominent venture capital firms including Will Ventures, Tal Ventures, Village Global, TechAviv, Benson Oak Ventures and angel investors Zeke Emanuel and Howard Morgan. To learn more about Aktivate, please visit aktivate.com.