Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge

Do you have an innovative product or service for the tennis industry?

Join us in the Tangerine Ballroom at the Orange County Convention Center for the Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge on Thursday, January 24 at 8:30am. Three finalists will present their innovative tennis product or service to a panel of judges and an industry audience in a “Shark Tank”- like competition to determine the 2019 winner. All attendees are welcome.

TIA’s Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge seeks to identify the most innovative and creative product or service in the tennis industry.

Finalists from the application process will have the opportunity to present in person in front of a panel of judges and an industry audience. The winner receives a $1,000 cash prize from the TIA, along with national exposure. For more information, visit

Innovation Challenge
Innovation Challenge

Categories include:

  • Playing and Performance Monitoring (Wearables, Sensors, Software)
  • Club/Playing Infrastructure, Architectural Design and Installations
  • Stadium, Event and Fan Engagement
  • Club Management and Retail Management Software
  • Innovative Branding, Marketing, Advertising and Promotions with proven Results to Grow the Game
  • Teaching and Learning Aids, Accessories

It’s been a really exciting time for the team. With the funds from competitions like the TIA’s Innovation Challenge and Alabama Launchpad, we will finally be able to manufacture Tennibot and start shipping to our customers.
- Haitham Eletrabi, founder of Tennibot, winner of March 2017 Innovation Challenge

Carlos Salum

Co-Organizer: Carlos Salum

Carlos Salum is the founder of Salum International Resources, Inc., a leadership performance strategy consultancy based in Charlotte, NC. He advises corporate leaders on Peak Performance strategies to obtain breakthrough results. His clients are located in four continents. Salum organizes international leadership events as the founder of TheSircle Executive Club. He consults in sports technology with the SportsCouncil Silicon Valley, N3XT Sports and develops projects with leAD Sports Accelerator. He’s also a professional tennis coach who’s helped tennis champions such as Gabriela Sabatini and Sergi Bruguera win Grand Slam titles, in collaboration with Dr. Jim Loehr and other leading sport scientists.

Louis  Foreman

Judge: Louis Foreman

Louis Foreman, the founder and chief executive of Enventys Partners, an integrated product design, engineering and marketing firm. He is also the founder of Edison Nation, and Edison Nation Medical. Over the past 30 years, Foreman has created nine successful start-ups and has been directly responsible for the creation of over 20 others. He is the inventor of products holding 10 U.S. Patents, and his firm is responsible for the development and filing of well over 700 more. A university adjunct professor, Foreman was the creator of the Emmy-Award-winning PBS TV show “Everyday Edisons.” He currently serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of the James Dyson Foundation, board member of the Intellectual Property Owners Association and New Dominion Bank, and is the past president of the Intellectual Property Owners Educational Foundation.

Mac Lackey

Judge: Mac Lackey

Mac Lackey is a Charlotte, NC based entrepreneur who has built and sold five companies.   Most recently he served as Founder/CEO of KYCK (acquired by NBC Sports), Mountain Khakis (acquired by Remington), InternetSoccer Network (acquired by News Corp SKY), and various other ventures.  Currently, Mac is a co-founder and serves as Chairman of ISL Futbol (representing legendary Football Club Barcelona’s schools in the United States) and a Venture Partner of, in addition to his role as an executive at SportsEngine (a division of NBC Sports).

Walid Fattah

Judge: Walid Fattah

Walid Fattah is a prolific tennis entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. With extensive experience in the world of finance, Fattah co-founded a family of products under the name of Kourts, specializing in mobile applications and tennis management systems. Fattah worked for Credit Suisse for 19 years, in the investment banking and private banking divisions. In his work for Credit Suisse, and combined with his passion for tennis, he has built solid relationships with many key actors in the tennis world.

Judge: Mark Kovacs

Mark Kovacs is the Executive Director of the International Tennis Performance Association.

Mike  Barrell

Judge: Mike Barrell

Mike Barrell is a coach for more than 30 years and the Director of evolve9, an international company that helps national tennis federations and providers design and implement tennis programs for children.  He has been a keynote speaker at three ITF Worldwide Conferences, and presented at multiple USPTA World Conferences, PTR International Symposia, plus multiple National Conferences.  A Level Five LTA Coach he is also an ITF Expert taking him to over 60 countries, supporting the development of Tennis in five continents. Through evolve9, he has recently been involved in the development of Evolution Kids Tennis, now the National U10 program of Serbia and Bulgaria, Tennis Whizz and the Girls Tennis Network.

Stacey Allaster

Judge: Stacey Allaster

Stacey Allaster, USTA chief executive of professional tennis and former chairman and CEO of the WTA. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario, where she also earned a law degree, Allaster joined Tennis Canada and became tournament director of the Canadian Open in Toronto (now known as the Rogers Cup). She joined the WTA as president in 2006 and was promoted to chairman and CEO three years later. Among her many accomplishments was the WTA’s expansion into Asia. Allaster has been recognized as the Sports Media Canada Executive of the Year, the WISE Woman of the Year, a Sports Business Journal Gamechanger and one of the 10 most powerful women in sports by Forbes magazine. In 2015, she was commended by the International Tennis Hall of Fame for her contributions to the sport.


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