MASSCHALLENGE + STADIA VENTURES TEAM UP FOR SPORTS TECH
TEXAS, April 9, 2020 – In the face of catastrophe, innovators turn challenges into opportunities. As the world faces a global health and economic crisis, now, more than ever, is the time to double down on innovation strategies – and that starts with collaboration and nurturing productive partnerships.
With a new track focused on the emerging field of Sports Tech starting this year, MassChallenge and Stadia Ventures (“Stadia”) are collaborating to create an end-to-end pipeline of support for entrepreneurs by bridging talent, access to mentors, funding and relationships for founders building the next generation of sports and esports companies.
As a global Sports Innovation Hub for entrepreneurs, industry partners and investors, Stadia’s hard earned experience accelerating sports tech investments combined with MassChallenge’s focus on nurturing young companies means that sports tech entrepreneurs focusing on world-changing implications for human health, performance and recovery, material science, analytics and fan experiences will find a full continuum of support throughout their company’s life cycle.
The combined resources of MassChallenge’s deep expert business network and Stadia’s deep pool of leaders in sports and esports, in addition to a specialized curriculum, is a game-changer, because this powerful new formula won’t just serve to guide innovative companies to successful implementation and financial success—it will create breakthroughs that change lives as products move from experimentation to mainstream applications.
Working together, MassChallenge and Stadia expect to give sports tech founders a deep well of resources that hasn’t been readily accessible outside of the traditional tech startup space. And that’s particularly important for the future, because innovations in sports tech often represent the leading edge of innovation.
“The widespread adoption of tech and innovation across industries like health care, energy, manufacturing and defense is possible because someone was working on the bleeding edge of innovation,” says Jon Nordby, MassChallenge Texas in Houston’s Managing Director. “Being on the ground floor, or in this case, the field, and seeing sports tech innovations in real time is like looking through a window to the future. These innovations will make their way to commercial markets within the next 5-10 years.”
The next decade of innovation starts today. As MassChallenge learned when it launched at the height of the recession in 2010, we must all take action and identify new paths to market and discover solutions that resonate with our teams and our customers.
Now more than ever, entities from different sectors must come together for the greater good to bolster the economy. That means non-profit and for-profit alignments, and public-private partnerships. MassChallenge invites people and organizations ready to take action to join us on this mission by committing their knowledge, experience and financial support.
“Now is the time to be bold, rather than wait and see. We’re here, and the game is still on. Even with the markets down and industry issues, we’re still investing,” Bill Powell, Managing Director of Stadia Ventures.
ABOUT STADIA VENTURES
Stadia Ventures is the global Sports Innovation Hub for early stage investment in sports and esports. The three pillars of the ecosystem include a broad, independent growth fund, a deeply connected global network of sports and esports executives and a world class accelerator which combine to create unprecedented market opportunities and new technology. The success of the Stadia portfolio companies has led to Stadia Ventures being one of the longest running and truly global players in the sports and esports technology space. It is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and has expanded their pressence to Frisco, Texas and Denver, Colorado. For more information, visit: http://www.stadiaventures.com.
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.