Sept, 16, 2015
Stadia Ventures Announces Inaugural Cohort in Sports Business Accelerator
ST. LOUIS, September 16, 2015 – After receiving over 175 applications from all over the world in 30-days, Stadia Ventures, the Sports Innovation Hub, is excited to announce their inaugural cohort for their Stadia Sports Business Accelerator.
Stadia Accelerator helps sports business startups get to the next level through the combination of up to $100,000 in equity investment, intensive mentoring, and connections to the top sports business executives in the country.
The four sports business startups entering the Stadia Accelerator Fall 2015 cohort include:
Fishidy (Madison, WI) – Brian Jensen, founder of Fishidy, created the most advanced location-based fishing social network that provides hot-spot maps, local reports and tools to help you catch more fish. With over 300,000 users, they are ranked #2 on World Fishing Network’s list of “Top Mobile Fishing Apps.”
LEIF Technologies (Brooklyn, NY) – Aaron Aders, founder of LEIF Technologies, makes the one and only patented-electric skateboard that shreds like a snowboard. With a successful Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign, they created a board that allows you to shred year-round…anywhere in the world.
Rookies (St. Louis, MO) – Matt Sebek, founder of Rookies, creates fully personalized baseball cards for all of life’s big events. Within minutes, users can edit everything about a baseball card; the photos, the text, and the color. They spare no detail in creating packs of baseball cards that rival the ones you opened as kids.
Winning Identity (Toronto, Canada) – Joe Shuchat, founder of Winning Identity, provides golf software solutions to maximize athletic performance potential and heighten motivation for new generations of golfers in one centralized location. Leveraging partnerships with the Golf Channel Academy, they are helping athletes and teams achieve their goals.
Today, the founders of these four sports business startups will begin a 10-week immersive business development boot camp. Classes will be held on Thursdays and Fridays in St. Louis, MO. Their experience will culminate with a Demo Day on Thursday, December 9, 2015 s where they will showcase their accelerated companies to investors, sports business industry executives, dignitaries and the media.
Stadia Ventures co-founder and Managing Director Art Chou states “Many people believe that the road to sports innovation ends in Beaverton with Nike or in Baltimore with UnderArmour. Today, that road starts in St. Louis.”
Stadia Ventures is the Sports Innovation Hub with headquarters in St. Louis, MO. In an industry that demands innovation, Stadia Ventures connects business professionals who share a passion for sports and a need for resources – from capital and networking to education and mentorship. For more information visit: www.stadiaventures.com.
Tim Hayden, Co-Founder & Managing Director
Art Chou, Co-Founder & Managing Director
What People are saying
I’m always amazed with how much Stadia has grown and how much the cohorts improve. It’s a great program and I'll always recommend it.
Lorin Hamlin, Head of Innovation Partnerships
I cannot believe how far we’ve come in 90 days. “Accelerator” doesn’t even begin to explain it. Maybe “rocket propelled” would be more fitting. So many talented people in sports, tech, outdoor and beyond mentored us. My network grew tremendously. My skills and knowledge grew even more. And we have a better business because of it.
Brad Luttrell, Founder & CEO
You win with people and Stadia sets themselves apart because of the people they are. And that they’re so willing to introduce to larger networks that you probably haven’t met before…and just help.
Anne Flannery, Founding Board Member
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
After speaking with two cohorts this year, it’s led to two different partnerships with our conference and our member teams.
Amy Huchthausen, Commissioner
America East Conference
Stadia has created 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 sports and esports businesses.
Chris Zimmerman, President & CEO
St. Louis Blues
I can definitely say the program was invaluable to my company and my professional development. Each week we focused on different important elements related to creating great brands and businesses. We had thought-leading guest speakers, beneficial exercises, and we received constructive critiques that made our businesses better.
Brian Jensen, Founder & CEO
Fishidy (Acquired by FLIR Systems)
We want to see technology that’s worth our time to look at. I get to know the startups that have been vetted, researched and diligenced by Stadia, and I know that I’m seeing the best of the best so it saves me time and money.
Javier Altamirano, Dir of Innovation
For the intersection of sports and technology, we’re a 100 year old company…but we’re always looking for the next 100 years. Stadia is a great place to find new talent, new startups, new technologies, and just a new way of thinking.
Bob Thurman, VP of Innovation
The Stadia Accelerator was a game changer for our business. The guest speakers they brought in were world class industry leaders. The mentor team 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 & President
Winning Identity (Acquired by Blast Motion)
I like the opportunity to see Stadia’s companies first hand so that I can implement their technologies in our franchise and accelerate our growth. In addition, we get the chance to see the most cutting edge technology that’s emerging from across the world.
Khalia Collier, Owner & General Manager
St. Louis Surge
My expectations were exceeded by coming into Stadia…and having access to the wealth of information from teams and brands was extremely invaluable.
Meredith Cass, Founder & CEO
Stadia is not only interested in the companies that they’re investing in, but they’re truly interested in the people that are part of those companies. That sets Stadia apart from everyone.
Barry McPherson, Minority Owner
I come because of the community that Stadia has built. Some of the best minds within sports and technology from around the world.
Clyde Hutchinson, Chair
Sports Tech Ireland
Stadia is very unique in terms of how they bring us all together from every facet of sports and esports. We have interesting conversations and the networking that’s involved is second to none. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn about technology, about business, and I find myself saying that’s a great question or a great technology.
Jim Connolly, Dir of IT
Columbus Blue Jackets
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.
Dan Farrell, SVP for Sales and Marketing
St. Louis Cardinals
Stadia network has a wide variety of people involved and it grows year after year. Once you’re involved you stay for life, and it has turned into a big family.
Declan O’Neill, VP of Business Development
World Wide Technology Raceway
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.