Sports Tech to Fuel New Accelerator

Posted: Updated:
Ryan Vaughn is president of the Indiana Sports Corp. Ryan Vaughn is president of the Indiana Sports Corp.
INDIANAPOLIS -

A group of sports organizations is making a big bet on sports tech through a three-year, multi-million-dollar partnership with a worldwide entrepreneurship network. The Indiana Sports Corp., NCAA and Pacers Sports and Entertainment are among the founding partners of a sports tech accelerator that will launch in Indianapolis with the backing of Colorado-based Techstars. Techstars SportsTech Accelerator Powered by Indy will select 10 companies from throughout the world each year to come to Indianapolis for a three-month program to push development of technology that will meet sports sector needs including fan engagement, safety and merchandising.

Indiana's Next Level Fund is also a founding partner of the program. Supporting partners include the Indianapolis Colts, Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 2019 Indianapolis 500 will serve as a kick-off event for the accelerator program. Techstars and partnering organizations will select 10 tech companies each year to take part in the program, which will be housed in the NCAA Engagement Center in Indianapolis' 16 Tech innovation district. The companies will also have the opportunity to take part in a "Demo Day" in front of some of Techstars' worldwide network of investors. Indiana Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn says, on average, about half of the companies that take part in Techstars accelerators keep some kind of presence in the city where they are accelerated.

Techstars, founded in 2006, is a Boulder-based entrepreneurship network that helps oversee 46 mentorship-driven accelerator programs. The group's portfolio includes more than 1,400 companies with a market cap of $16 billion. Vaughn says Indianapolis is a natural fit for Techstars entry into sports accelerators because the state is home to several professional teams, the NCAA, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and several sports governing bodies. It has also hosted more than 450 national and international sporting events ranging from the 2012 Super Bowl to seven NCAA Men's Final Fours.

Vaughn says the accelerator will help Indiana build a brand as a global sports technology leader. He says it will also help put the state and city on the "VC map," thanks to access to Techstars' network of more than 10,000 founders, partners, mentors and investors.

He says the initial partnership includes three one-year accelerator cycles, but he hopes the partnership will last beyond the initial agreement period.

  • Perspectives

    • 3 Tips to Attract and Retain Employees in the Gig Economy

      The gig economy has been around ever since workers began looking for supplemental income, but, it has recently evolved with the introduction of technology. Companies emerging like Uber, Lyft and GrubHub, are changing the gig economy landscape of the workforce. The gig economy has attracted millennials and Gen Zers because of the flexibility and autonomy to work from anywhere, at any time.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of Indianapolis International Airport)

      Indy Airport Showcases New Retail Offerings

      Indianapolis International Airport is celebrating the opening of the first wave of new retail offerings. The new stores are part of the airport's multi-year Concessions Refresh initiative, which aims to bring a greater mix of nationally-known brands, such as FAO Schwarz and Vineyard Vines, with more local offerings, including Natalie's Candy Jar and Fountain Square Market. In all, nine new retail stores opened Tuesday morning. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business...

    • (Image of downtown Shelbyville courtesy of Mainstreet Shelbyville Inc.)

      Shelbyville Unveils Major Downtown Redevelopment

      The city of Shelbyville is announcing what it calls a major downtown redevelopment project to boost overall quality of life. The project plans feature green spaces, increased parking, market-rate housing, and infrastructure for public entertainment and community events. 

    • The IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering will now be named for Fred Luddy for his $60M gift. (photo courtesy James Brosher/IU)

      $60M Gift to Fund AI Center

      An Indiana University alumnus who founded the information technology firm, ServiceNow, has given his alma mater $60 million to establish an artificial intelligence center. The university says the gift from cloud-computing pioneer Fred Luddy is the second largest in the history of the IU.

    • DePauw University ranked No. 20 on list of Best "Colleges"

      Small Indiana Colleges Rank High Nationally

      Indiana has two institutions of higher learning, with intentionally small enrollments, that rank in the top 30 in the nation for an overall experience.  The personal finance website, WalletHub, conducted a survey of what it calls the 2020 Best College Ranking. 

    • Transpo is South Bend's municipal bus system. (photo courtesy of Transpo)

      South Bend Launches Free Fare Program

      The city of South Bend has launched a new initiative to help a select number of residents who don’t have reliable and easy access to transportation get to work. The program is called Commuters Trust.