Early-stage companies in the field of sports technology compete against each other. It is modeled on the World Cup in football. The SportsTech World Cup starts with a Nordic edition, with more regional editions to follow. Sports technology companies from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden can enter the competition starting Tuesday.
Invited are companies that work in the following core areas: Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Wearables, eSports, and Fan Experience. The application deadline is October 6. 10 finalists will be selected.
The finalists will present their offers on a live pitch day at the Smash event. This will take place in Helsinki in late November. Smash is a new side-event that is officially supported by Slush. The focus is on sports, technology and start-ups. A final event will take place in March, 2018 in Silicon Valley. There, the winners will be chosen.
Fund promotes sports technology startups
The Podium SV fund focuses on sports technology, the media and the entertainment industries. Podium SV has already worked with numerous professional sports organizations, including the NHL, MLS and the Olympic Games.
“The magic of working in Silicon Valley is that things happen quickly,” said Mounir Zok, executive advisor at Podium Silicon Valley. “The competition came from an exchange of ideas during a dinner with friends. I shared this idea with the people who work at the Nordic Innovation House. ”
The Nordic Innovation House is the headquarters of the Nordic startup community in Silicon Valley. According to Zok, the representatives of the Nordic Innovation House were quickly inspired by the idea.
“This Nordic edition of the SportsTech World Cup (STWC) is a great opportunity for our high-quality SportsTech companies to network with the American sports ecosystem. At the same time, it also allows us to increase the visibility of Nordic sports technology in the US. ”
Will the community deliver the next game changer?
On this basis, Podium SV spoke with Smash CEO Tommi Kolehmainen to ensure a pitch day for start-ups to take part in the World Cup.
“This is how it all came together from idea to execution, it was only a couple of weeks,” says Zok. “Sports is all about competition too. Let’s take the sports model and apply that into the startup world and organize a world cup. The model we’re working with is a global model, we want to have national teams, referring to team Denmark for example.”
Jordi Ferré Albiol, Innovation Lead for Podium SV: “At PodiumSV, we want to create the world’s leading community that has a disruptive impact on the sporting sector. In a time of exponential progress and democratization, when innovation is everywhere, we believe that startups are an important driver of change. Through the STWC, we discover the most promising thinkers, visionaries and entrepreneurs who lead true game changers. ”
… from the idea to the implementation, it was only a few weeks. (Mounir Zok, executive advisor at Podium Silicon Valley)
To support the competition, Podium SV was able to win a number of regional ambassadors. Regarding these ambassadors, Zok said, “One of the findings we gained early was that we need people at the base who understand the region. The five ambassadors all come from the sports or innovation world and have helped us to promote the competition locally. ”
First, the Nordic version of the World Cup will be played. Only then will other competitions start. Zok: “Once the tournament is over, we will share our timelines for the other regions,” he said.
One thing is for sure: the sports business is opening up to new ideas. At the leAD Sports Accelerator, sports start-ups also compete for funding.