TA Press Release, April 12, 2020
Ten start-ups from seven countries have been selected to participate in the first Techstars SportsTech Melbourne Accelerator.
The project is a joint initiative between Tennis Australia, American company Techstars, LaunchVic and Victoria University, and focuses on early-stage sports technology companies that aim to disrupt and drive innovation in high performance sport, grassroots participation, as well as event and media technology.
Close to 200 start-ups from more than 40 nations applied to be a part of the program of which 20 were selected to take part in a high-stakes selection process conducted by leaders in venture capital, technology and sport at Australian Open 2020.
The Accelerator condenses two years of work into three months, and mentors and industry leaders will work with the 10 companies on their projects to get them to a market ready state.
“Creating opportunities to grow our sport and connect more people to our events has been a strategic priority for Tennis Australia for many years,” Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said.
“This partnership with Techstars is an obvious next step as we look to drive more innovation and interest in the game for the benefit of those watching and playing it at every level.
“As we all do our best to navigate this global Covid-19 crisis, now more than ever, we need to rethink how we do things in a in a different world, and with an array of new challenges.”
Tennis Australia Head of Innovation Dr Machar Reid said the reaction to the program from the SportsTech community globally has been incredible.
“To have so many high quality submissions from around the world to choose from was beyond our expectations when we announced the Techstars SportsTech Melbourne Accelerator in July last year,” Reid said.
“During the Australian Open in January we selected 10 companies to take part in the Accelerator. The founders hail from various backgrounds including serial entrepreneurs, artificial intelligence and automotive engineers, sport science professors and ex-athletes.
“The Accelerator looks set to be a game changer across the tennis world and for Tennis Australia to lead this project is amazing.”
The stellar line-up from some of the world’s most innovative brands from sport and tech have signed on to the project and will work as mentors alongside the Tennis Australia team. Venture capital fund Blackbird General Partner Nick Crocker, Barcelona FC Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Javier Sobrino, and video editing giant Grabyo CEO Gareth Capon, are just some of the big name leaders whose expertise will help drive the innovation.
“To have mentors from other sporting organisations, who are leading the way in this space like Javier from Barcelona FC and Daniel Brusilovsky from Golden State Warriors as well venture capital experts from Blackbird, @M8, Rampersand, Airtree and Reinventure, is a real bonus for the program,” Reid said.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Accelerator will now be run virtually, with the official start on 1 June 2020. In keeping with the spirit of innovation, the team has quickly factored this pivot into the virtual world into the program and the 10 companies will be provided with Techstars programming, mentor connections and other resources between now and when the project begins.
About the companies taking part in Techstars SportsTech Accelerator Melbourne
MODU is creating the first immersive network for visual and audial media. Captured and created from any camera-enabled device in the world.
ELANATION is the largest e-learning sports app for children where they learn, share and compete in fun physical activity skills each day. With more than one thousand videos produced by professional Olympians, athletes and coaches spanning 15+ sports, daily fitness competitions, sports-watch integrations, weekly leaderboards, social video sharing, health data and analytics, e-shopping and more.
Swing Vision is a mobile A.I. platform for athletes, providing real-time video analysis and coaching using proprietary machine learning and computer vision on just a single smartphone.
Have you ever tried sharing what’s on TV?
Snapscreen is the sharing revolution for TV and streaming services, enabling viewers to take a photo (or snap) of a TV with their mobile and instantly get a broadcast quality clip to rewind, personalise and share legally.
A-Champs is getting people of all ages and fitness levels to move with engaging training solutions that are based on a unique mix of IoT tech, gamification and sports science.
str8bat is a Sport Tech company with a vision to democratise technology in sports to empower all consumers who play sports to get better and help them engage with peers and experts in a contextual manner. They capture motion without cameras and have started with cricket as their first line of business.
Gamesense is an interactive HD video-based player sports training platform helping both coaches & athletes (novice through to expert) to develop an entire team or individual player’s fast reactive skills 500x more efficiently.
Fitmind is an AI-powered coach that improves youth athletes’ mental wellbeing and performance.
TENX is a global tennis equipment brand setting new benchmarks in racquet playability and online price value.
MyFavorito is a platform for digital sport sponsoring, fan engagement and CRM. Solving the existential problem for sporting clubs worldwide to become financially stable.