PHILADELPHIA—As part of its efforts to encourage innovation in the sports tech business, Comcast has selected 10 startups for the second class of the Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator.
The startups were chosen from over 800 applicants across 44 countries, Comcast said. These companies are developing new innovations in the program’s core investment areas: media and entertainment, fan/player engagement, athlete/player performance, team and coach success, venue and event innovation, fantasy sports and betting, esports, and the business of sports.
During the 12 week Accelerator program, founders will have the exclusive opportunity to work one-on-one with SportsTech’s mentors to further develop their business ideas and find creative approaches to challenges in their industries.
This year PGA Tour and WWE have been added as advisors, joining the other renowned SportsTech partners, which include NBC Sports, Sky Sports, GOLF, Comcast Spectacor, NASCAR, and three U.S. Olympic sports organizations: U.S. Ski & Snowboard, USA Cycling and USA Swimming. Since the accelerator’s launch last year, alumni have participated in 29 pilots and partnerships with SportsTech partners, including 5 commercial deals.
During this year’s hybrid program, with virtual and in-person components run out of SportsTech’s headquarters at Comcast NBCUniversal’s Central Division Innovation Center in Atlanta at Truist Park, entrepreneurs will participate in a custom curriculum focused on fundraising, sales, marketing and branding, product design, mental health, company culture, go-to-market strategy, and working at enterprise scale.
“We launched Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech to find, fund, and fast-track the top sports technology startups challenging the status quo and creating new innovations that will impact how we participate in, view, and celebrate sports,” said Jenna Kurath, vice president of startup partnerships and head of SportsTech. “Our first cohort set a high bar and attracted PGA Tour and WWE to join as SportsTech advisors, a direct result of how the accelerator delivers tangible business value, both to founders and to our partners. This next class is surrounded by a team of leaders who will help these founders build revenue-sustaining businesses and offers us and our network of partners an early-lens into next-gen developments in sports tech. I’m excited to see what partnerships develop during the program and beyond.”
This year’s mentors will include industry leaders from Comcast NBCUniversal as well as strategic advisors from the Boomtown network and the partner consortium, including Will McIntosh, Executive Vice President, NBC Sports Next; Lora Dennis, Executive Vice President, NBCUniversal Local; James Clement, Director of Operations, Sky Sports; Craig Neeb, Chief Innovation Officer of NASCAR; Rina Thakker, Senior Vice President, Digital Products for WWE; and Lance Stover, Senior Vice President, New Ventures for PGA TOUR. Jenna Kurath, Vice President, Startup Partnerships and Head of SportsTech, will lead the startups as they work with mentors and business units throughout the program and as they seek proofs of concepts, pilots and partnership deals with Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky brands and the broader partner consortium.
At the conclusion of the program, the companies will participate in a Demo Day on May 26, 2022 and present their businesses before some of the world’s leading venture capitalists, startup founders, business executives, and media.
The 2022 class of the Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator, powered by Boomtown includes:
- BookSeats.com, Toronto, Canada. BookSeats.com simplifies the way fans travel by allowing users to book custom packages that include any combination of flights, hotels, and/or tickets to events around the world.
- HeadVantage, Arlington, Virginia. HeadVantage visually captures the “impossible” moments and insights in sports, fused with biometric & performance data, from the athlete’s vantagepoint.
- Ice Cream Social, Newport Beach, California. Ice Cream Social is a state-of-the-art social platform that helps companies turn their existing customers into brand advocates by rewarding them for inviting their friends.
- LetzChat, Westlake Village, California. LetzChat translates customer interactions – including subtitles, text messages, phone calls, chat support, and web sites – into the viewer’s language, which offers opportunities to enhance sports viewing.
- Local Sports Network, Austin, Texas. Local Sports Network is a digital community that strengthens ties between sports fans, high schools, and athletes.
- Meetlete, San Diego, California. Meetlete is a fan engagement platform that allows fans to experience a 4-minute meet and greet with their favorite athletes.
- MoneyLine, Atlanta, Georgia. MoneyLine is a sports and entertainment game against the house that gives fans a chance to win money more simply and creatively than ever before.
- Movrs, Los Angeles, California. Movrs uses AI to analyze human shape and motion data and make it easier for sports and entertainment organizations to use.
- tiptapSPORTS, Burlington, Ontario, Canada. tiptapSPORTS brings an enhanced touchless paymentsTM experience at sporting events of all sizes, while letting fans support young athletes through touchless givingTM solutions in the community.
- Uru Sports, Traverse City, Michigan. Uru Sports is the professional network for elite athletes providing opportunity, community and information to connect the world’s 1 billion athletes to great opportunities worldwide.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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