Future of Sports Lab is a business incubator that sounds like an amazing opportunity and it is. FSL as its known is a collaboration between Ryerson University and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) in Toronto, Canada. Six Canadian and North American startups were selected from an overflowing pool of innovative applicants to be a part of the cutting edge program. The Sports Techie community blog is as excited as you should be about all the incubators in the sports tech space. Ontario has it going on with the FSL.
The selection process was thorough and candidates were fully vetted by the FSL advisory committee and mentor network. Some of Canada’s brightest sport and technology business leaders were part of the selection process. They heard a full day of pitches by each group.
“Our committee was thoroughly impressed by the passion and commitment shown throughout the pitching process. We are thrilled to have six dynamic startups be the first companies to join the Future of Sport Lab and leverage our network of academic and sport leaders to help drive innovation in sport,” said Cheri Bradish, director of FSL and the Loretta Rogers Research Chair in Sport Marketing with the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.
Here are the winners:
- Performance Phenomics (Toronto, ON) – Delivering state-of-the-art brain imaging assessments that offers managers, coaches and athletes scientific insight into optimizing athlete’s performance and guiding them through recovery.
- Rival.ai (Toronto, ON) – An eSports company providing industry standard scouting reports for teams, trainers and the gaming community through the use of artificial intelligence.
- SkillShark (Saskatoon, SK) – An integrated coaches platform for athlete evaluations across multiple sports.
- Spalk(New York, NY) – A virtual sportscasting studio providing hundreds of different commentators on live broadcasts.
- Stakes(New York, NY) – A platform that allows real-time sports wagering between friends.
- The Gist (Toronto, ON) – Providing sports news, experiences and community that are created by women, for women.
The Ted Rogers School of Management will guide the startups through a programming partnership. Benefits include direct guidance from FSL Network mentors of note. Also included is access to top academies. Finally, the chance to run pilot programs together with teams and venues that make up MLSE is truly a remarkable opportunity,.
FSL will cover trendy industry innovations and research in analytics, athletic performance technologies, analysis of business management, fan engagement, consumer experiences and social innovation.
“We are incredibly excited to work with the FSL’s six startups and offer them a platform with our teams, venues and business,” said Humza Teherany, Chief Technology & Digital Officer, MLSE. “With unprecedented support of an incredible network of mentors, we are looking forward to have having new ideas and innovations that will ultimately help us with our overarching goal – to win championships and deliver exceptional fan experiences.”
Ryerson University is a Canadian leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 45,300 students, including 2,600 Master’s and PhD students, 3,800 faculty and staff, and nearly 198,000 alumni worldwide.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), one of the premier sports and entertainment companies wordwide, has ownership of the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto FC (MLS), Toronto Argonauts (CFL), Toronto Marlies (AHL), Raptors 905 (NBA D-League), TFC II (USL) and Raptors Uprising Gaming Club, the Toronto Raptors esports franchise in the NBA 2K League.
Its charitable arm, MLSE Foundation, focuses on funding initiatives to support youth through sport and recreational programs. In 2017 MLSE Foundation, with support of community and corporate partners, built MLSE LaunchPad, a 42,000-sq. ft. space dedicated to programming that support its four Pillars: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Ready For School and Ready For Work.
MLSE also owns and operates Scotiabank Arena, Canada’s premier sports & entertainment venue hosting more than 200 events each year, two digital channels – Leafs Nation Network and NBA TV Canada and has a partnership with Live Nation – the largest concert promoter in the world. MLSE has also invested in and operates five of Toronto’s sports facilities – Coca-Cola Coliseum, BMO Field, BMO Training Grounds at Downsview Park, home of Toronto FC’s Academy and the First Team’s practice facility, the Toronto Raptors’ training facility and the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies.
Sports Techie, the founders, their management team and boards are all over the moon excited about inclusion in the Future of Sport incubator.
A quick breaking down of the 6 winners shows 3 hail from Toronto, 1 from Saskatoon and 2 from New York, USA.
Topics include brain imaging to enhance performance, gaming and AI, a coaching evaluation platform, virtual live sportscasting broadcasts, wagering between friends in real time, and a women-centric sports community.
This impressive list of trending topics and the six companies involved are an incubator home run for the FSL, Ryerson and MLSE.
Now it is time for these startups to developed relationships with the FSL mentors, interact and learn from these business masters, immerse themselves in the program, take advantage of the available infrastructure, and most importantly, keep marching on because that’s THE Sports Techie way.
If we can help let me know.
Good luck to all, especially those volunteering their time and expertise for the goodwill of the FSL.
See ya later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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