An immersive bootcamp surrounded by mentors
Stadia Accelerator helps established sports & esports startups get to the next level through the combination of up to a $100,000 equity investment, intensive mentoring, and connections to the top sports & esports business executives in the country. We leverage our network of industry executives that include senior leaders at teams, leagues, sponsors, game developers, publishers, manufacturers, marketers, investors, business services, etc. We finish the delivery by helping companies close their next deal, land their next investment round, or find their exit partner. Our success is determined by our cohort’s financial success!
Twice a year, Stadia Venture conducts a private and public call for submissions around the world. We are looking to invest up to $100,000 for equity in up to five of the best, established sports & esports startups. If you have an existing product or service, have traction, and are generating revenue proving that you are solving a pain, we want you to apply for the Spring or Fall Cohort.
There are two rounds of evaluation for the Stadia Accelerator cohort. First, applications are reviewed by several Partners and Advisors of Stadia Ventures, whom are hand-picked by the Stadia Ventures staff based on industry experience, expertise in the stage of your company, or other relevant characteristics. Next, the application and feedback from the initial judges are reviewed by the Stadia Capital Investment Committee, which is a group of the most experienced entrepreneurs, sports & esports business executives and investors who are invested into the Stadia Capital fund. Finally, a select group of founders will be invited to pitch their businesses to the Investment Committee and over 120 Senior Leaders in Sports & Esports at a Finalist Pitch Day, which will be followed by an opportunity for in-depth Q&A. The Stadia Accelerator cohort is usually announced soon after the Final Pitch Day.
Founders come to St. Louis on Wednesdays through Fridays for 7-sessions over 14-weeks. They are immersed in our business development accelerator, which is an intensive business boot camp, while being surrounded with some of the best sports business talent in the world. Our team’s strength is the network of senior executives, entrepreneurs and investors we bring to bear for every founder.
Graduation culminates with two Demo Days (Hometown Demo Day and a Global Demo Day in a separate city), which is where each founder pitches investors, potential customers and the media. The goal of this day is to secure additional funding, new partners, customer sales, or an exit.
It doesn’t end with your Demo Day. As a member of the Stadia Ventures family, you will always be family. Therefore, we will be on the lookout to help our founders for the life of their company (and well beyond). Whether you are looking for additional resources (human and capital), business development inroads, or strategic board advice, Stadia Ventures and our network will be here for you.
For sports startups moving to the next level
Stadia offers a business development studio for later-stage sports companies. Selected companies work side-by-side with the Stadia Ventures staff and fellow Stadia Ventures’ portfolio companies to fully utilize the capabilities of the Stadia Ventures’ network.
The suite of services includes:
- Senior Executive-In-Residence
- Back-Office Support (HR, Accounting, Legal, etc.)
- Management Consulting/Advisory
- Potential Acquisition Partners
- Shared Office Space
Companies in Stadia’s business development studio also have full access to the Stadia Ventures network of investors, industry executives, and industry events focused on the business of sports innovation.
funding seeking great sports business opportunities
Stadia’s first fund, the Stadia Accelerator Fund, was a five-year, $10 million fund that only invested in cohort startups that came through Stadia’s Accelerator.
In January, 2018, Stadia launched a new Stadia Growth Fund (capped at $25M) to fund startups coming through the accelerator; invest more meaningful follow on funding to select accelerator alums; and invest in a select number of external, late seed and Series A opportunities.
The best bet for an investment from the Stadia Growth Fund is through the accelerator channel. Each startup in the cohort will receive an equity investment of $100,000. The equity investment will be based on the startup’s current round or a convertible note if there is no open round.
In addition, there is an opportunity for more meaningful follow-on funding after completion of the 7-session, 14-week program (every other week, fly in on Wed morning and out by Fri afternoon).
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.