Laura Beier Sep 9, 2021 12:00:00 AM 5 min read

BETA Alum JockLab Expands with New Robot

From programming robots in middle school, to winning the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup in 2019, Alijah Nelson has been on a constant positive trajectory with his company, JockLab.

This summer, the robotics-focused company that aims to make basketball training easier and more fun is bringing its D-Up robot defender to basketball training camps across Minnesota — and even started their own program.


How it works:

A group of passionate entrepreneurs with a love of basketball and a passion to change the game started in a dorm room at Gustavus Adolphus College in 2019.

JockLab is a sports science company that enhances sports performance and training through the use of robotics. 

By talking to coaches, creating their MVP in 2020, and hearing feedback from players, they were able to create the D-Up robot defender to help players in basketball training camps across Minnesota.

“The most common feedback since launching [our MVP], was coaches experiencing fatigue after playing defense against athletes for multiple training sessions per day,” said Nelson, who was able to gain feedback from bringing the robot to training camps this summer.

JockLab also created their own personal training camp program for high school athletes to try out the D-Up robot defender, a new business model Nelson mentioned they hope to continue.


The BETA experience & what’s next:

Even though the experience was virtual in Spring 2020, Nelson said the “energy was vibrant” during his time in the BETA Cohort. 

“Everyone was excited to learn how to scale up,” he said, saying the overall experience was “awesome.”

The power of BETA Showcase — which JockLab were the winners of in Summer 2020 — is definitely the networking with like-minded thinkers, Nelson said. 

The JockLab team has plans to continue fine-tuning their product and getting it in front of more athletes. Currently working with grade school athletes, they have goals to work up to the professional level. 

A head basketball coach was also recently added to the team, making it three full-time employees.


Register for Fall 2021 BETA Showcase:

Registration is open for the Fall 2021 BETA Showcase, made possible by JP Morgan Chase!

We’re so excited for the biggest showcase yet, with startups from our current Fall 2021 BETA Cohort as well as companies from our past 3 virtual cohorts!

Taking place from 6-9pm on September 22, you won’t want to miss networking with the community and seeing what’s new with Minnesota’s emerging startups — Register today.


About BETA:

BETA is a 501(c)(3) organization that develops Minnesota’s next generation of business leaders by inspiring and educating first-time founders. The BETA Group supports startups and small businesses with great scalability potential, so that they can grow to become our next Fortune 100s. Learn more.