Comcast NBCU to Launch SportsTech Accelerator

Comcast NBCUniversal said it will launch SportsTech, a global accelerator for sports technology startups, in August.

This is the third such accelerator Comcast and NBCU have created in the past three years. Earlier this month, Comcast formed the LIFT Labs Accelerator, which is based out of company headquarters at the Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia and The Farm, housed in Atlanta, the home of its Central Division operations, in 2017.

The SportsTech accelerator will be a partnership including three Comcast sports brands – NBC Sports, Sky Sports and Golf Channel – as well as NASCAR and two U.S. Olympic sports organizations: U.S. Ski & Snowboard and USA Swimming. Comcast Ventures, the company’s San Francisco-based venture capital arm, will also be included. Each partner will serve on a SportsTech advisory committee, providing startups with direct access to strategic industry relationships, mentorship, and partnership opportunities.

“We are delighted to introduce SportsTech to our suite of accelerators to help founders build sports technology and products, refine their business models, tell their stories, and benefit from the unique assets and talent of Comcast NBCUniversal,” said Comcast Cable chief business development officer Sam Schwartz in a press release. “Comcast NBCUniversal has some of the most prominent sports brands and we are excited to partner with founders through SportsTech.”

SportsTech will be based in The Battery Atlanta/SunTrust Park, home to Comcast Cable’s Central Division headquarters, and will give sports technology startups access to a broad international consortium of advisers, a custom sports tech curriculum and investment capital.

“The demand for sports technology across the globe has never been greater, yet most sports startups don’t have access to the resources they need to succeed nor an ability to develop relationships with the right people inside the industry,” said Comcast Cable VP of startup partner development Jenna Kurath in a press release. “SportsTech will provide the curriculum and platform for founders to develop their ideas while obtaining mentorship from leaders in multiple sports, enabling them to further deploy their technologies to dramatically improve sports experiences for athletes and audiences alike.”

Beginning in August, SportsTech will offer a three-month custom-tailored program for up to 10 startups, focused on technologies and products in media and entertainment; fan and player engagement; athlete and player performance; team and coach success; sports venue and event innovation; fantasy sports and sports wagering; esports; and the business of sports.

The deadline to submit an application for SportsTech is May 15. The selected startups will reside in Atlanta for the duration of the program, operating out of SportsTech’s flagship location at The Battery at SunTrust Park, where Comcast’s The Farm accelerator is also based. It will be directed by Boomtown Accelerators, a leading accelerator program headquartered in Boulder, Colo., Boomtown operates The Farm for Comcast NBCUniversal and has established itself as a preeminent home for early-stage startups.