Welcome to the Intersection of Sports + Innovation.
Stadia Ventures is the global Sports Innovation Hub for entrepreneurs, industry partners and investors.
We create an ecosystem for sports innovation growth by leveraging our team’s core strengths: education, investment and industry expertise.
Stadia Ventures was created to solve the pain of three distinct voices:
Entrepreneurs: We help entrepreneurs navigate the entrepreneurial path and immediately connect them to our Stadia network.
Industry Partners: We help industry partners by acting as their “innovation brokers” to maximize deal flow and minimize risks.
Investors: We help investors by educating, validating and driving deal flow directly to the best sports business opportunities available.
Experienced executives, investors, and entrepreneurs
Tim Hayden | Co-Founder & Managing Dir
Besides being a Senior Adjunct Professor at Saint Louis University, Tim is the head of their internationally-renowned Center for Entrepreneurship where he has mentored almost 500 startups. He helped the university expand their #9 ranked Entrepreneurship academic program and launch a Sports Business program (Minor, Major and Masters). In addition, he has successfully launched and run several sports technology companies and helped to create and build several professional soccer teams including Saint Louis Athletica (WPS) and AC St. Louis (NASL).
Art Chou | Co-Founder & Director
Art is the former SVP of Product for Rawlings where he directed product management, development, and innovation teams for all equipment and apparel categories. Prior to Rawlings, his past includes positions as the head of Golf Club R&D at Titleist and the Technical Editor for Golf Digest. In addition, Art helped launch and run start-up Pixl Golf in the early 2000s. He holds degrees in engineering from Univ. of Pennsylvania and Drexel and helped launch the Rawlings Sport Business Management program at Maryville University, where he is still an adjunct professor.
Byron Abrigg | Accelerator Coordinator
As a “founding intern,” Byron joined the Stadia team full-time upon graduating from Saint Louis University in 2017. Byron honed his business communications and operations skills while studying at Saint Louis University. There, Byron both founded and participated in student accelerator programs, created a quarterly entrepreneurial networking event called Billicon Valley that regularly attracted 200+ students, and interned with Arch Grants, Edward Jones, and SLU’s Center for Entrepreneurship. Byron graduated summa cum laude from SLU with majors in economics and entrepreneurship, minors in english and servant leadership, and interests in social entrepreneurship and community and economic development.
Austin Smith | Venture Associate
As a “founding intern,” Austin joined the Stadia team full-time upon graduating from Saint Louis University in 2017. In SLU’s #9 ranked entrepreneurship program, Austin excelled in business strategy and implementation; placing in numerous entrepreneurial competitions (including 1st place in two hackathons) and joining an MBA class as a sophomore at the University’s request to work on a project for Tesla Motors. With roots in family business, Austin has both founded and consulted multiple young companies where he focuses on economic development, social entrepreneurship, and urban policy.
Friends joining us on the journey
What People are saying
Most notable was the broad range of expertise the speakers brought to the table. We had consultants, entrepreneurs, investors, technologists - just about everyone that you would want to get advice from as you're growing a business. Our company specifically used financial recommendations, improved the clarity of our brand messaging, and changed our partnership strategy, all resulting from advice given by the speakers.
Tyler Feret, Founder and CEO
I can definitely say the program is invaluable to my company and my professional development. Each week we focus on different important elements related to creating great brands and businesses.We have thought leading speaking guests, beneficial exercises and we receive very constructive critiques that make our businesses better.
Brian Jensen, CEO
The weekly content from Stadia has been substantial, the keynote speakers have been influential, and the mentorship has been invaluable. Stadia hasn't just surrounded our group with big-thinkers; they're also individuals that have experienced success. Amongst the companies that we've personally interacted with: Under Armor, Getty, Anheuser-Busch, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the St. Louis Blues - just to name a few.
Matt Sebek, Founder/CEO
The Stadia Accelerator has been a game changer for our business. The guest speakers they’ve brought in have been world class industry leaders. The mentor team has put us in a position to take our business to the next level. I would strongly recommend Stadia to any and all sports startups.
Joe Shuchat, Founder and President
Winning Identity (now owned by Blast Motion)
GolfNow always has been a company with a start-up spirit, so it’s great to see accelerators like Stadia helping entrepreneurs down the path to realizing their full potential as a business. With GolfNow’s investments in sports and technology, we understand the importance of entrepreneurship and fully support programs like these.
Will McIntosh, SVP of Business Development & Strategy
Stadia has opened my eyes to some great avenues for thought and innovation. This exposure is a great help in directing the USGA’s activities.
Hunki Yun, Director, Strategic Projects
Stadia is creating a powerful program to fuel activity in the sports entrepreneurial marketplace. Great resources, advisors and a passion for innovation makes the Stadia program an invaluable launch pad for emerging concepts.
Chris Zimmerman, President & CEO
Stadia Ventures truly fills a void by helping entrepreneurs bring innovation to the world of sports. The St. Louis Cardinals have enjoyed partnering with Stadia and their cohort companies as they develop new sports technologies and innovations. We look forward to helping Stadia transform St. Louis into one of the leading sports innovation hubs in the world.
Dan Farrell, SVP for Sales and Marketing
The Stadia Ventures Demo Day was an incredible experience. Getting to see their broad network of advisors and mentors, and understanding the guiding role they've played in the success of the startups in their program was an inspiration for new accelerators such as ours. I look forward to continuing to work with Stadia- they've been amazing partners and have been instrumental in helping to set up the infrastructure here at the Sixers Innovation Lab.