Students from Vanderbilt, Auburn, University of Central Florida and University of North Carolina awarded 2019 Women in Sports Tech Fellowships

Mill Valley, CA (April 26, 2019) – Women in Sports Tech, Inc. (WiST) announces 2019 WiST Fellows, female students who will receive funding in the form of $5,000 grants to support their summer projects working in sports technology. They will work with organizations including global running shoe brand Brooks Running, a leading sports industry intelligence firm Turnkey Intelligence, the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces and the sports tech startup called Learn To Win founded by two Stanford Graduate School of Business students. “We’re so pleased to see the caliber of young women eager to jumpstart their careers in sports technology. Programs like this will make a huge difference in the trajectory of their careers,” says Jarvis Sam, WiST Board Member and Senior Director, Sourcing and Diversity Recruitment/Programs at Nike.

This year’s WiST Fellows have been chosen from an array of outstanding applicants. “As WiST has grown since our inception in late 2017, we are thrilled to see the influence and impact our organization is having throughout the sports tech ecosystem. Meeting these young women, reading their incredible project proposals, and knowing we are having direct impact to support their careers in sports technology, validates for our team and our board that we are making great strides towards changing the ratio in this business,” says Marilou McFarlane, founder and board co-chair of WiST.

The WiST Fellowship program is consistent with the mission to drive growth opportunities for women at all levels of their careers in all sports technology and sports innovation businesses globally. WiST is an organization made up of women and men working together to change the ratio in all aspects of the sports technology industry ranging from sports performance and assistive technologies to fan engagement, digital media and content to e-sports. “This year’s fellows demonstrate the amazing talent looking to solve challenging technology issues in sports and make a real difference in changing the game, “ says Jill Stelfox, board co-chair of WiST.

Ellie Lewis is a senior at the University of North Carolina (2019) majoring in Peace, War and Defense with a second major in Public Policy and a minor in Education. Her WiST fellowship project is the U.S. Army Special Forces Strategy Bridge. She will work at Camp Mackall during the training and selection program for the Special Forces which is 30-day trial of physical, mental and emotional aptitude. Her project focuses on sports performance outside of the traditional sport environment. Trainees’ uniforms are equipped with GPS trackers so that leadership can monitor their location, the total distance traveled, and the speed in which they are traveling, interpreting data to aid human performance. This training group often consults with professional teams or at sports performance conferences as they are both focused on perfecting human performance, preventing injury, and lowering rehab times.

Emily Matijevich has a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is currently a Vanderbilt University PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering. Her project, “Wearable Tech Solutions for Overuse Injury Prevention in Runners” will use Brooks’ “Run Signature” as a baseline for habitual motion to review running biomechanics and explore natural habitual joint motion. She will quantify natural deviations in habitual motion to assess injury with support from her Vanderbilt sponsor and the research team on-site at Brooks Running in Seattle. She will explore the use of wearables (e.g. pressure sensing insoles, inertial measurement units (IMUs), muscle activity sensors, etc.) for identifying when runners deviate from habitual motion paths–a promising avenue for notifying runners when they are at heightened risk of injury. 

morgan laurence

Morgan Laurence is a rising sophomore at Auburn University currently focusing on Nutrition Wellness with an eye towards a career in sports technology, especially working with NCAA D1 football programs. She will intern with Learn to Win Sports in Nashville for her WiST Fellowship. Learn to Win Sports was founded by two Stanford Graduate School of Business students, one a former UNC basketball player, and is in use by over 400 NCAA football and basketball programs. She will analyze data from their first platform considered a “Rosetta Stone” of playbook learning that converts playbook and game plan materials into an interactive learning experience. Her data analysis will provide coaches insight and analytics into what their players understand and what they do not. Her project includes UI/UX analysis and improvements, setting up a CRM system, SEO, social media, and other forms of tech-based marketing exposure.

Nataliya Bredikhina earned her B.A. at the University of Maryland, double majoring in Sport and Society as well as French. She has an expected MBA and a Master of Sport Business Management this year from the University of Central Florida. This fall she is an incoming Ph.D. candidate at Temple University focusing on Business Administration and Sports Marketing. Her WiST Fellowship project is data science and sponsorship research at Turnkey Intelligence, a company within MarketCast Group that delivers best-in-class analytics, data-driven research and consumer understanding to sports teams, leagues, agencies, sponsors and brands. She will create an SQL server, with analysis of over twenty years of extensive sponsorship data files (project and clients) to develop a more comprehensive benchmarking and data sourcing for partners. This is a full aggregation process to create a new narrative around data and research finding that communicates decision making processes in the sports sponsorship field.


About Women in Sports Tech, Inc.

WiST is a non-profit organization driving growth opportunities for women in sports tech and innovation, from interns to executive leadership roles, while providing a pathway for highly motivated college students to discover and explore opportunities within the field. Corporate support includes Nike, IBM Sports, Avaya, Spartan Race, and Silicon Valley Bank. To learn more, go to

Additional WiST programs include hosting panels at conferences and events globally on a wide range of sports technology topics as well as diversity and inclusion initiatives including upcoming events at Hashtag Sports in partnership with Nike at the Nike New York City HQ in June, Stadia Ventures in Dallas in July, and Harvest Summit in October in Sonoma, California.