Friday, February 25, 2011

Innovation and Entrepreneurial Breeding Grounds

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Tech Coast Angels Fast Pitch Competition where 10 finalists (out of 140+ applicants) conducted 90 second pitches followed by Q&A and scoring from an elite panel of judges.  It was an awesome display of entrepreneurship in Los Angeles.

The picture to the right was taken on my phone during one of the pitches.

What makes an event like this so special is the energy in the air.  Entrepreneurship becomes a living, breathing thing taking place before your eyes as people create, innovate and collaborate.  You could’ve walked into the room with a skeleton of an idea and walked out with 25 ideas on how to make it a real business. 

In the end, all participants benefited with entrepreneurship being the big winner.

This made me think – does anything like this exist in the golf industry?  It’s a large, struggling industry so one would think it’d be a meaningful effort, but to my knowledge the answer is no.  At least, I’ve never heard of it and a Google search produced no results.

The only thing I’ve ever seen was the “Inventor Spotlight Section” at the PGA Show this past year, which I tweeted about at the time – “@steventanner: In the ‘Inventor's Spotlight Pavilion’ section of @PGAGolfShows ... Lots of #golf trinkets but sadly nothing game-changing.”

The golf industry badly needs innovation – not in the form of new teaching aids or white driver heads, but in the form of game-changing business models that address the way people consume and experience golf.

I think a conference on this topic would be helpful.  Even just a two-hour event in one of the side rooms at the PGA Show.  If golf industry members had an entrepreneurial environment to learn, network and discuss their ideas, I bet a few innovative business models would come out of it.

If someone knows of an event like this in existence, please let me know.  Otherwise, I hope we see it soon.  I’ll be the first person registered.

And, if you’re an entrepreneur in any industry I encourage you to attend local events like what the Tech Coast Angels put on yesterday because I guarantee it’ll be a valuable experience.


  1. I appreciate what you are saying about "change" in the industry. However, golf is/has been a game of tradition, holding on to arcane rules to the point of being tedious. Even baseball brought in the DH.

    Adherence to the traditions and rules is admirable, but it does contribute to a climate of being resistant to change and innovation.

    Good luck with changing that.

  2. Steve did you take more photos during that event, particularly of the BastardJeans presentation? I presented 2 after Seth during this competition. If so, I'd be interested in a photo of my own presentation. get me at

    (no need to publish this comment, thanks)