PERSONALIZED NUTRITION PLATFORM CULINA HEALTH WINS NFLPA PITCH DAY
Six diverse-led companies competed for access to funding, mentorship and NFLPA player marketing and group player rights
PHOENIX, February 9, 2023 – Before the largest audience in NFLPA Pitch Day history, an elite panel of judges chose Hoboken, N.J.-based personalized telenutrition platform, Culina Health as the company which best demonstrated how their product connects to consumers and can leverage the vast marketing influence of NFL players. Culina Health’s platform is powered exclusively by registered dietitians committed to making clinical nutrition accessible to millions of everyday Americans. Co-founded by Registered Dietitians Vanessa Rissetto and Tamar Samuels, and Steven Kuyan, Culina supports patients with personalized, culturally competent, and accessible care. It is the only platform in the market providing clinical-level, integrated care management in a scalable and cost-efficient way.
For the win, Culina Health gains access to resources provided by official prize package partner, PitchBook Data Inc., including access to its platform, analyst team and research on venture capital, private equity and emerging technology. They also receive $25,000 in player marketing services and player activations from the NFLPA; $25,000 in services from group licensing, athlete marketing and media company OneTeam Partners, consultation from Products of Change, a global educational hub driving sustainable change across consumer product markets and beyond; as well as player marketing strategic consultation from students from the Arizona State University Master of Sports Law & Business sports entrepreneurship class.
Led by women, people of color and other underrepresented entrepreneurs, this year’s NFLPA Pitch Day companies also included Champions Round, For Days, LootMogul, Noggin Boss and Puzzle Huddle. All six were selected from more than 200 applications, a record for NFLPA Pitch Day. The volume helped expand product categories to include web3, games and human performance to apparel, hardlines and sustainability. The judge’s panel of entrepreneurial athletes and business leaders included NFL linebacker and investor Brandon Copeland, retired NFL lineman and business owner Ricky Jean Francois along with Horizon Strategies CEO Jessica Pacheco and PitchBook Data, Inc. CMO Jason Marshall.
“The cohort of companies selected to pitch perfectly captured the diversity of NFL Players Inc. partners, and the wide spectrum of industries that benefit from working with NFL players. In addition to Culina Health, we look forward to exploring partnership opportunities with all participating companies,” said Steve Scebelo, President, NFL Players Inc.
Launched in 2017, NFLPA Pitch Day helps early-stage companies led by diverse entrepreneurs boost their businesses by aligning with the power of athletes and leveraging the marketing prowess of the NFLPA. Previous Pitch Day winners include, among others, immersive media company Healium, wearable technology company WHOOP, lifestyle brand round21 and tech platform SwayBrand.
About Culina Health
Culina Health is a personalized nutrition platform powered by registered dietitians to help patients prioritize the way they want to live. We make insurance-covered nutrition care accessible and easier to understand so that patients can fuel a satisfying and well-balanced life. Culina Health is based in Hoboken, NJ and has patients across the United States. Culina Health's mission is to make nutrition accessible to all and sustainable for everyone. For more, visit: https://culinahealth.com/.
About the NFLPA
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through the 2030 season. For more information, please visit nflpa.com.
About NFL Players Inc.
NFL Players Inc., the licensing and marketing arm of the NFLPA, connects businesses to the power of NFL players. NFL Players Inc. creates customized business solutions for partners, through licensing, marketing strategy and player activations. For more information, please visit nflpa.com/players-inc.