Performance improvement app Uplift takes $25K grand prize at inaugural Golfweek Tech Lab

FRISCO, Texas — Sukemasa Kabayama, the CEO and co-founder of the performance improvement app Uplift, started Thursday with a trip to the emergency room after a bout with food poisoning. The former president of Tesla Motors Japan admitted that he had trouble standing and spent most of the morning flat on his back before finally making the medical visit.

The day, however, got progressively better.

After facing a group of other golf technology startups, Kabayama’s group took home the top honors at the first Golfweek Tech Lab, held at the Omni PGA Frisco Resort just north of Dallas.

The event, which was presented by T-Mobile for Business, was a joint venture between Golfweek, part of USA Today Sports Media Group and Gannett Co., Inc, and underdog venture team. The event united stakeholders in both the financial investment industry and golf communities with a curated group of 18 technology startups, all with the aim of impacting the business of golf.

With the victory, Uplift won the grand prize check of $25,000, along with a cover story in a future edition of Golfweek.

“I’m still a little shocked and surprised,” Kabayama said. “This turned out to be a great day.”

Uplift was one of four winners in the event’s best of show. Aside from the grand prize, the Palo Alto, California-based firm also won the player performance category. Other winners included Fabric in the fan engagement category, Clicktivated in the e-commerce category and Whoosh in the business solutions category.

The event included a number of panel discussions including one on Generative AI in sports with Jon Flynn of Microsoft and Nancy Hensley of Mercury13, as well as another on innovation and the PGA of America with Jeehae Lee of Sportsbox and Kris Hart of the PGA of America.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek