Spira Footwear has been selected to play a critical role in a new initiative of the A & E Television Network and the crowdfunding site RocketHub called Project Startup.
Its an incredible honor, said Andy Krafsur, co-founder and CEO of Spira Footwear, located in El Paso, Texas. We are truly humbled to be among the very first few companies selected to be part of PROJECT STARTUP.
Last summer, Spira was seeking capital for the launch of a new lightweight performance running shoe, the Spira Stinger 2.  Spira turned to RocketHub, an online crowdfunding company, to tell its story and pre sell the shoe to RocketHubs network of supporters and enthusiasts.
The campaign was highly successful. Spira sold almost 800 pair of shoes and raised over $42,000. The company then used that money to purchase the initial run of inventory for the Stinger 2.
Spira shoes contain a patented technology called WaveSpring in the heel and forefoot in the soles which provide a combination of mechanical cushioning and energy return.
Spira has a fantastic product coupled with an amazing story. This shoe company represents the new wave of entrepreneurship that is happening across the US, said Brian Meece, co-founder and CEO of RocketHub.
Andy Krafsur and Spira are the embodiment of startup culture by making innovative shoes that can change the world, Meece said.
During a meeting with the A & E Network and RocketHub, Meece introduced the Spira product and story to Dr. Libby OConnell, Senior Vice President of Corporate Outreach for the A & E Networks. She immediately purchased 125 pair of Spira shoes for her staff.
This introduction lead to Spiras involvement with PROJECT STARTUP, which is an extension of A&Es Real Life, Real Change pro-social campaign and is a multi-platform brand initiative, that will include television, website and social media.
One of the exciting aspects of leading A & Es new outreach effort Project Startup is that I get to learn about some wonderful new businesses. Right now, my favorite is Spira, led by Andy Krafsur and Holly Fields, OConnell said.
The sneaker colors are gorgeous, and I love wearing them.  I have a bright red pair and a bright blue pair as well. They make my normally-achy feet feel terrific, whether Im working out, gardening, or standing in the kitchen concocting another meal. They provide real support but weigh very little, said OConnell.
I also enjoy getting updates on where the business is headed next. Its an energetic, innovative company.   We found Spira sneakers on Rockethub, our partner in Project Startup. Its been a great match for us. And everyone here loves the sneakers,
OConnell added.
What makes Spira shoes unique is our patented WaveSpring technology, Krafsur said. The WaveSpring is a laterally stable, very lightweight and compact spring that is placed in the heel and forefoot of all Spira shoes that produces a remarkable combination of cushioning and energy return, Krafsur said.
The result is that people can run and participate in activities for longer periods of time with less stress on the body. The technology helps to reduce recovery time and injuries, said Krafsur.
Because it is a mechanical technology, the WaveSpring will not break down and provides a new shoe feel for the life of the shoes, Krafsur said.  He added that runners competing in Spira shoes have won over 180 major races and marathons over the past couple of years.

A & E has made a significant commitment to tell the Spira story, even providing Spira with its own page on the A & E website: