INDIANAPOLIS - Ten organizations have been selected to take part in the 2020 class of the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy. This is the second year of a three-year initiative in Indianapolis, supporting innovative startups across many sectors, stages, and business models aiming to capture opportunities in sports technology.
“Indiana’s tech sector and love of sports are the perfect doubles partners,” Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said. “I’m thrilled to see this great forum for innovators thrive here, and I’m so proud to help fuel ingenuity and entrepreneurship with our Next Level Fund.”
The launch of the Techstars mentorship-driven program was announced in the summer of 2019 by founding partner organizations, including the Next Level Fund, Indiana Sports Corp, NCAA, and Pacers Sports & Entertainment, in addition to the supporting partners the Indianapolis Colts, NTT IndyCar Series, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Techstars, in collaboration with the partners, selected the following 10 organizations to take part in the second class in Indianapolis: F2K Gaming (http://www.f2k.gg/); Beastcoast (https://beastcoast.gg/); Esportudo (https://www.esportudo.com/); Locker (http://getlockersport.com/); Fitnescity (http://www.fitnescity.com/); ZoneIn (http://www.getzonein.com/); Tennibot (http://www.tennibot.com/); SenSwim (http://senswim.com/); REZA (http://rezafootwear.com/); and Rebus (http://www.rebustech.co/).
“After a great inaugural year of the Techstars Sports Accelerator, we are thrilled about the announcement of the 2020 companies,” said Steve Simon, owner and alternate NBA Governor of Pacers Sports and Entertainment. “One of the mottos surrounding Pacers Sports and Entertainment over the past few years has been ‘We Grow Basketball Here’. Part of growing basketball here is the growth of analytics, data, and innovation. It’s important for us to grow talent, specifically tech. We are excited about our collective ability to incubate the next generation of companies led by tremendous founders reimagining the future of sports.”
“Indiana Sports Corp and its partners are excited to launch the second year of the Techstars Sports Accelerator and work with this impressive roster of companies from around the world,” said Indiana Sports Corp president Ryan Vaughn. “Our community witnessed firsthand how Techstars fosters innovation from its classes and is eager to see how the program continues to evolve.”
Through the Techstars Sports Accelerator, 10 startups will be selected each of the next two years to relocate to Indianapolis for three months for mentorship with experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts. The 2020 class represents industries from eSports and sports media, to AI/Robotics, fan engagement, athleisure, and athlete wellness. Each of the ten companies have demonstrated strong visions and clear paths to profitability and beyond in their industries with the 2020 class hailing from across the United States, from tech hubs like Boston and New York City, to Detroit and Auburn. Additionally, two companies come out of Europe, and two more from as far away as Tel Aviv and Bogata. At the culmination of the 13-week program, startup founders will pitch their accelerated businesses to investors and venture capitalists at a demo day event.
“After having such a great experience our first year, we are even more excited this year to get in and to start working with these new companies,” said Kathleen McNeely, senior vice president of administration at the NCAA. “The partners and the Techstars team worked hard to really find some great companies and that hard work paid off.”
The Techstars Sports Accelerator’s objectives are to foster early identification of key trends for future technology in sport; engage meaningfully with early-stage sports tech companies; embrace technologies and business models that will impact the sports industry; and enhance a culture of internal innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurship.
The Techstars Sports Accelerator fund is backed by the founding partners Next Level Fund, Indiana Sports Corp, NCAA, and Pacers Sports & Entertainment, in addition to the supporting partners the Indianapolis Colts, NTT IndyCar Series, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Techstars is the global platform for investment and innovation. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships, and Techstars Community. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 2,200 companies with a market cap of more than $26 billion. www.techstars.com
About the Next Level Fund
The Next Level Fund, established by the Indiana Finance Authority, is a charitable trust operating separately from the state and its board serves as its trustee. 50 South Capital Advisors LLC, a global private equity firm with a large Midwest presence, including an office in Indianapolis, administers the fund. The Next Level Fund was launched as part of Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s 2017 legislative agenda.
About Indiana Sports Corp
Founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission, Indiana Sports Corp is a not-for-profit organization focused on bringing premier sporting events to Indiana to drive economic vitality, facilitate a vibrant community with civic pride and garner positive media attention. Because of this, Indiana Sports Corp is able to provide positive, sports-related opportunities for youth in the community. For more information, please visit IndianaSportsCorp.org.
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a diverse association of more than 1,100 member colleges and universities that prioritize academics, well-being and fairness to create greater opportunities for nearly half a million student-athletes each year. The NCAA provides a pathway to higher education and beyond for student-athletes pursuing academic goals and competing in NCAA sports. More than 54,000 student-athletes experience the pinnacle of intercollegiate athletics by competing in NCAA championships each year. Visit ncaa.org and ncaa.com for more details about the Association and its student-athletes.
About Pacers Sports & Entertainment
Pacers Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) is an integrated sports and entertainment company including the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Pacers Gaming, Pacers Foundation, Inc., and operations of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Our team of inspired and dedicated employees has a shared purpose of WINNING through our commitment to excellence, SERVING our local communities and ENTERTAINING our fans and guests. PS&E is based in Indianapolis and was named a 2018 Best Place to Work by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
About Penske Entertainment Corp.
Penske Entertainment Corp., a subsidiary of Penske Corporation, owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and IMS Productions. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has hosted the world’s largest single-day sporting event – the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race – for more than 100 years. The venue has also hosted NASCAR, Formula One and other racing series events throughout its storied history. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES continues to be the premier open-wheel racing series in North America and is one of the most competitive championships in the world. IMS Productions is a leading video services and production company.
About the Indianapolis Colts
The NFL’s Indianapolis Colts strive to entertain, inspire and unite fans and people throughout our city, our state and beyond by winning the right way. Since arriving in Indianapolis in 1984, the Colts have reached the NFL postseason 18 times, winning 11 division titles, two AFC Championships and Super Bowl XLI. In our 67-year history, the franchise has reached seven NFL championship games or Super Bowls, winning four in 1958, 1959, 1970 and 2006. Off the field, the Colts are committed to improving the lives of our fellow Hoosiers by building a healthy, inclusive and compassionate community through meaningful outreach, projects and partnerships. The Colts also support current and former players by engaging with them in charitable efforts, helping them leave a legacy of service to the community.