Comcast Sets Lineup for Second SportsTech Accelerator Program
Startups get advice for building businesses
Comcast NBCUniversal named 10 startups that will take part in the second class of its SportsTech accelerator program.
The companies are developing social and community platforms, payment systems and ways to analyze athletic performance.
The 10 participating startups were chosen from more than 800 applicants.
Over the 12-week program, founders of the startups will work one-on-one with mentors from Boomtown and outfits including NBC Sports, Sky Sports, the PGA Tour, WWE, NASCAR, and the organizations representing the U.S. ski & snowboard, cycling and swimming teams.
At the conclusion of the program, the companies will participate in a Demo Day on May 26, and present their businesses to leading venture capitalists, startup founders, business executives and media.
“We launched Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech to find, fund, and fast-track the top sports technology startups challenging the status quo and creating new innovations that will impact how we participate in, view, and celebrate sports,” said Jenna Kurath, VP, startup partnerships and head of SportsTech.
“Our first cohort set a high bar and attracted PGA Tour and WWE to join as SportsTech advisors, a direct result of how the accelerator delivers tangible business value, both to founders and to our partners," Kurath said. "This next class is surrounded by a team of leaders who will help these founders build revenue-sustaining businesses and offers us and our network of partners an early-lens into next-gen developments in sports tech. I’m excited to see what partnerships develop during the program and beyond.”
The program will be partly conducted in-person and partly virtual. Topics being discussed include fundraising, sales, marketing and branding, product design, mental health, company culture, go-to-market strategy, and working at enterprise scale.
Alumni of last year’s accelerator participated in 29 pilots and partnerships with SportsTech partners, including five commercial deals.
The participants in the program include:
BookSeats.com from Toronto, which simplifies fan travel by allowing users to book packages that include a combination of flights, hotels and tickets for events all over the world.
HeadVantage of Arlington, Virginia, which visually captures “impossible” moments and insights in sports from the athlete’s vantage point, fused with biometric and performance data.
Ice Cream Social, from Newport Beach, California, which is a social platform designed to help companies turn existing customers into brand advocates by rewarding them when they invite friends.
LetzChat of Westlake Village, California, which translates customers' interactions - subtitles, texts, phone calls, chat support and web visits – into the viewer’s language to enhance sports viewing.
Local Sports Network, Austin, Texas, a digital community that strengthens ties between sports fans, high schools and athletes.
Meetlete from San Diego, which has a fan engagement platform that allows fans to experience a four-minute meet-and-greet with their favorite athletes.
Moneyline of Atlanta, which is a sports and entertainment game that gives fans a chance to win money against the house in a simple and creative way.
Los Angeles-based Movrs, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze human shape and motion data and make it easier for sports and organizations to use.
tiptap of Burlington, Ontario, which brings a touchless payment experience to sports events, letting fans support young athletes.
Uru Sports from Traverse City, Michigan, which is a professional network for elite athletes providing information to connect athletes to opportunities worldwide. ■
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
By Kent Gibbons