Black-Founded Startup Among Top 50 Programs for Sports Innovation

Black-Founded Startup Among Top 50 Programs for Sports Innovation



Most Valuable Recruit (MVR), a Texas-based black-founded startup, was included in the HYPE Foundation’s Top 50 Innovative Companies in The World of Sports program.

MVR creates analytical software that provides athlete assessment. A more detailed description of what MVR does is provided in its press release:

“[MVR] uses mathematically and psychometrically validated tests to determine a player’s visual-spatial cognitive abilities and level of self-monitoring. Self-monitoring strongly predicts organizational commitment, leadership, and individual performance in strength, speed, and coordination. High visual-spatial intelligence predicts scoring, defensive success, and other measures of game success.”

Co-founders Damon Bryant and Larry Davis are both former athletes. Both are also Ph.D.s. Bryant is an industrial and organizational psychologist. The Howard University graduate specializes in using physical and mental assessments with mathematical models to predict how well someone will perform under various conditions.

Davis is an engineer who has designed computer adaptive testing and performance measurement systems. According to his bio on MVR, he developed artificial intelligence that analyzed 85 validated employment questions. This AI, in turn, is used by companies to evaluate the success of prospective engineer hires.

HYPE’s Top 50 program is an accelerator for sports technology startups. The program helps fledgling companies network with top sports brands, clubs, and league directors. Founders are also introduced to investors. Additionally, MVR will have the opportunity to demonstrate its assessment technology at major sports events, including the NFL draft, the Boston Marathon, and the U.S. Open.

“We are excited to be working with the team at the HYPE Foundation on ways to grow our reach in global sports,” said Davis, in an emailed statement.

Bryant explained the value of MVR’s technology, also through email. “A good test helps unearth hidden gems,” Bryant said. “It tells us who has abilities that poverty and lack of access may have hidden, and it identifies areas where an athlete might need additional support. The MVR approach reveals where we might most readily engage players at their level of skill and understanding.”