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AO StartUps launches first pilot program


Tennis Australia is set to unveil the early stage SportsTech companies selected to participate in the new AO StartUps program throughout Australian Open 2023.

Compression garment manufacturer CAPE Bionics is the first company to be showcased as part of the program.  

The company manufactures prescription compression garments, individually sized from 3D athlete scans, to impose a unique and optimum pressure for performance, recovery, rehab or travel benefit.   

“CAPE has achieved some really promising results with athletes in the NBA, NFL and NHL, and we look forward to seeing similar cut-through in the world of tennis,” Tennis Australia Head of Innovation Dr Machar Reid said.

The launch of AO StartUps is the latest step in Tennis Australia’s innovation program which helps startup companies pilot their cutting-edge technology at the AO and other areas of Australian tennis.

CAPE compression garments will be introduced to AO players during January ahead of a full-scale integration into Tennis Australia’s National Tennis Academy Program throughout 2023.

“We are very excited to introduce CAPE products into our program and uncover the impact they can have on athlete recovery, rehab, sleep and overall performance” Tennis Australia Head of Athlete Services Joey De Beer said.

Dr. James Waldie, CAPE founder and CEO, has spent over 20 years researching compression including stints with NASA and the European Space Agency developing medical grade compression suits for astronauts travelling to space.

“Tennis players have some of the most demanding recovery and travel requirements of any athletes.  Cape is proud to join this first cohort of AO Startups and show how prescription compression can bring genuine benefits in performance and wellness to these elite tennis players,” Dr Waldie said.

“Forget off-the-shelf athleisurewear – when it has to work, custom-fit compression as used by the medical industry is the only option.”

The full cohort of AO StartUp companies will be announced across AO 2023.   

Visit to learn more.

About CAPE Bionics
CAPE provides professional athletes with the professional compression they deserve.  After developing medical grade compression for astronauts with NASA, the European Space Agency and MIT, we have now developed a sports range that is individually made to each athlete from a 3D scan using our proprietary AutoTailor system.  Unique and optimum pressures regimes for either performance, recovery, travel or rehabilitation deliver genuine and consistent benefits such as 10% faster recovery.  CAPE is a Class 1 medical device, and is proven on the Space Station, in the literature and across professional sporting teams around the world. 

About AO Startups
AO StartUps is the latest step in Tennis Australia’s innovation program which helps startup companies pilot their cutting-edge technology at the AO and other areas of Tennis Australia’s business.  Companies participating in AO StartUps will be provided the opportunity to prove their business models in real time and directly access proprietary intel and exposure at one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment events. It’s been designed to extract maximum value for the startup, streamline corporate processes that can often stifle innovating at speed, and provide an opportunity for future investment via Tennis Australia’s venture capital fund, Wildcard Ventures.

The creation of AO StartUps follows the launch of Tennis Australia’s Venture Capital fund (Wildcard Ventures) and its multi-year partnership with global accelerator powerhouse, Techstars.