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SDSI: SDSI Recaps its Future of Sports Conference

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  • SDSI Executive Director Bob Rief presents Guy Kawasaki with a one-of-a-kind Gerry Lopez surfboard
  • Renne Catalano Gussman, Director of Business Development, SDSI

San Diego Sport Innovators, in partnership with Attention Span Media, shattered the status quo of sports, presenting new perspectives on the future of sports at a content-packed Sports Forward Conference at The Qualcomm Institute Innovation Space at Atkinson Hall at UC San Diego. 

The sold out event brought together more than 200 sports and active lifestyle business executives and community leaders.

“You guys ruled,” said Liquid Force founder Tony Finn. “Really fun, informative and thought provoking! Plus, met some cool people and rekindled relationships with old friends!”

The panelists presented new perspectives on sport and how technologies, such as Biohacking, eSports and AR/VR, already are, or soon will, expand and enhance how the future of sports will unfold - from fan engagement to athlete training and everything in-between.  Perhaps the most thought-provoking presentation was that from scientist DrRaymond McCauley of Singularity University on the potential application of biohacking and CRISPR technologies to create superhuman athletes and its ethical implications.

Key Note Speaker Guy Kawasaki once again inspired the crowd with his core message to young entrepreneurs: “Don’t ask the experts, don’t ask your customers, don’t listen to the “bozo” advisors or naysayers, just build a product YOU want to use and meets YOUR standard.” Amen, Guy!

For the surfers in the room, or those fond of surfing’s heritage, a special moment was SDSI Executive Director Bob Rief’s on stage presentation to Guy Kawasaki – a one of a kind “Pipeliner” surfboard, personalized and hand shaped by world renowned surfer and shaper Gerry Lopez. 

See the full list of conference speakers and panelists and the  post event coverage in The San Diego Union-Tribune

About SDSI
Creating jobs and making connections is what we do.  We are a not-for-profit organization with the mission of establishing San Diego as the home of Sports and Active Lifestyle Industry (SAL).  By fostering innovation, providing business mentorship for growing companies and building powerful cross-vertical networks we serve leading sports and technology brands.  Working with Executive Chairman and NBA great Bill Walton, our over 100-company membership represents the “San Diego Lifestyle” and encompasses, nutrition, yoga, surf, skate, cycling, golf and more.  We focus on relevant and actionable C-level content that benefits our member companies and facilitate new business opportunities among the members every day. SDSI’s award winning SDSI Springboard business accelerator program features a 20-week mentor-led curriculum whose graduates have raised $51.5 million, have created 441 jobs and have an 87% success record. 41% of graduates are women-led businesses. For more information and membership inquiries, visit

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