frequently asked questions
What happens at Stadia Accelerator?
Think of the Stadia Accelerator as a 6-session/12-week crash course to maximize the value of your company. We team you up with mentors and advisors with experience in your areas of need where everyone is incentivized towards the same goal: increase your company’s value in order to maximize the likelihood of reaching the next step of investment/partnership/acquisition. Whether it’s helping you land your next big sale; find a national retailer, league or pro team partnership; or help you establish robust business practices; we’re committed to shoring up your weaknesses and promoting your strengths. We’re investing in you because we think we can help you become a good investment.
When will the application for the next cohort be open?
Stadia runs two accelerator programs each year. The Spring program runs from April to June with an application window of November to January. The Fall program runs from September to December with an application window from June to July.
How much do you invest?
In addition to the efforts of our mentors and advisors, Stadia Accelerator invests up to $100K in cash in each business. The total amount of each investment and the corresponding equity depends on each company’s needs and valuation. And, the final package will be a combination of cash and sweat.
Do we need to write a business plan?
You don’t need to write a business plan, but our application requires a lot of the same information. Keep in mind that all finalists will be subjected to personal interviews in addition to a final pitch in front of our judges, investors and investment selection committee. So, it’s important that you can communicate all of the key factors that are normally included in a business plan.
Will you sign an NDA? How do I know you won’t steal my idea?
Stadia Accelerator receives several hundred applications each year so it’s impossible to sign an NDA with everyone. We encourage you to apply to our accelerator, but urge you not to disclose any information that’s proprietary. Get us fired up about your business without giving away the recipe to your secret sauce.
Will you fund multiple startups working on the same idea?
Stadia Accelerator is focusing on the main categories of equipment, apparel, software/apps, big data analytics, fantasy, gaming, nutrition, and training. While these areas are very broad, our cohort structure is designed to give you invaluable lessons from the shared experiences of your fellow companies. While there may be overlap between companies in terms of target markets, digital marketing strategies, etc., it is highly unlikely that a cohort of five companies would include two that are direct competitors. Our goal is to maximize the value of all of our companies so working with direct competitors wouldn’t be very productive.
Why didn’t you accept our application?
We receive several hundred applications for each cohort, Yet, we can only accept up to 5. Don’t take a rejection as an indictment of your company or business model; instead, view it as a result of the quality of the competition. Keep growing your company and get ready to apply again – after all, the next cohort is only a few months away!
How far along are most of the companies in the program?
Stadia Accelerator is looking for sports companies with the highest potential for growth and return on investment. Our companies cover a wide range of sizes, generally ranging from five digits to low seven digits in revenues. While higher current revenues are a strong validation of your business model, we still value other metrics to assess your growth potential.
What does Stadia Ventures get out of this?
Stadia Ventures receives equity in your company based on a negotiated valuation at the end of the application process. We are your partners – if we can’t increase your value then we don’t make a dime.
Can you tell me more about the mentoring and networking opportunities?
One of Stadia Ventures’ core strengths is the quality of our mentor/advisor network. When you join the Stadia Accelerator, you’re assigned a lead mentor who assumes main responsibility for your success. You’re also assigned mentors who have key experience and networks within your core areas of targeted business growth. All mentors are incentivized to use the full power of their networks to help you achieve success.
Do I have to stay in St. Louis after the end of the program?
You don’t have to stay in St. Louis after the program ends. If you’re a Cubs fan, we may even invite you to leave before the program ends (just kidding…maybe).
How can we receive more funding after the program ends?
Stadia Accelerator intends to offer additional investment up to $300K to the best graduates of our program. After we’ve spent this much time getting you ready for the next step, we don’t want to let the VCs have all of the fun!
What kinds of companies do you fund?
Stadia Accelerator funds rising sports-related start-ups that are involved in the following categories: equipment, apparel, software/apps, big data analytics, fantasy, gaming, nutrition, and training. We prefer companies with existing products and revenues. That way we’re investing in “accelerating” your business as opposed to funding prototypes.
Where is the Stadia Accelerator office?
Stadia Ventures is located at CIC@4240 (4240 Duncan Ave, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63110), which is part of a 22-acre innovation district called Cortex. CIC@4240 houses several accelerators and over 200 startups. We’re proudly located in downtown St Louis. 3 miles from Busch Stadium (home of the St. Louis Cardinals), 3 miles from Scottrade Center (home of the St. Louis Blues), 4 miles from the Arch, and a mile from the best barbecue on the planet.
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.