The ZERO1 Youth helmet. (Vicis Photo) Football is still America’s game in American high schools, drawing more than a million athletes each year. But concerns over the lasting effects of concussions have caused youth participation in the sport to dip in recent years. Vicis, a Seattle startup, wants to help preserve the game for younger athletes with a high-tech helmet that recently ranked first in Virginia Tech’s . But many programs are finding it difficult to pay the $495 price tag, sparking questions of fairness: should the safest helmet only be available to those who can afford it? Five Seattle-area high school football programs that they would be using the Vicis helmet earlier this month, but several are from the region’s wealthiest areas, such as Bellevue and Mercer Island, Wash. Just down the street from , the Ballard Jr. Football program that aims to raise $50,000 to pay for the helmets, which are designed to mitigate the forces thought to cause concussions. Neighborhood news site MyBallard the fundraising effort, which has taken in more than $8,000 so far. “We’re definitely not in the best position to pay for [the helmets] or fundraise for them in our community,” said Andrew Muller, the Ballard program’s league president. are fundraising for helmets. These kids are the future of football. What better way to celebrate your Contract Renewal than to help Seattle youth football team?!!?
Scorebook Live CEO Dan Beach. (Scorebook Live Photo) has reeled in another $2.5 million to help high school sports programs get access to the same level of technology that professional leagues use on a daily basis. The Spokane, Wash.-based company started with an app that lets high school football and basketball teams record stats and play-by-play information, but it has expanded to more sports and products. It now offers additional tools for scheduling, roster management, and a team website service. Scorebook Live also recently partnered with DragonFly Athletics to build software targeted at high school athletic departments and launched . (Scorebook Live Photo) , a media company that owns The Spokesman-Review in Spokane and a handful of TV stations across the Pacific Northwest, led the funding round. “Cowles leadership of Stacey Cowles, Steve Rector and Spokesman-Review Editor Rob Curley understand how important high school sports are to local communities and see that Scorebook Live’s technology and vision are solving a number of problems that have existed inside this market for many years,” said Scorebook Live CEO Dan Beach. Beach previously worked at ESPN from 2009 to 2012; he “spearheaded ESPN’s entry into the ‘high school scoring’ market,” according to his . Scorebook Live relocated from San Diego to Spokane after Beach’s son accepted an offer to play for Gonzaga’s basketball team; the CEO and his wife also grew up in the area. Other investors in Scorebook Live include ex-NBA players such as Jerry Stackhouse and former Gonzaga star Adam Morrison. Dan Dickau, another former NBA player who also starred at Gonzaga, is the company’s vice president of market development. Scorebook Live employs 11 people and makes money off a combination of licensing and sponsorship/advertising sales. Cowles Company has also in Pacific Northwest tech startups such as Zipwhip, Phytelligence, Skyward, etaliz, AnswerDash, SheerID, TurboPatent, and others.