Companies selected for global sports accelerator programme held at Loughborough University London

Sports start-ups from around the country took part in a two day bootcamp to be selected for the SPIN Accelerator 12-week programme hosted at Loughborough University London

Eighteen start-ups attended the two-day bootcamp with their propositions, research and business plans being put through their paces by a series of interventions and interactions with academics, investors and sporting experts. This included pitching in front of a panel of experts from across the sporting and investor worlds including; Decathlon, The Bakery and Leyton Orient FC.

The SPIN Accelerator is designed to support the rapid acceleration of each of the businesses through a tailored programme of academic interventions, business support and introductions.

Of the eighteen companies who attended the two-day bootcamp, nine companies were selected to participate in the SPIN Accelerator programme:

DEUCE

Deuce is a tennis club for non-club members. Facilitated by tech, they have teamed up with Andy Murray to fulfil their passion and ambition of using their expertise to grow a welcoming, playing community who feel they belong within an individual sport, first in GB and then across the globe.

HEAVY KINEMATIC MACHINES

Heavy Kinematic Machines are developing high-tech sensors mounted on equipment and software, collecting in real-time the essential information about training and enabling its further usage. The sensors collect: the number of repetitions, the number of series, the weight and the dynamics. The SOLO embedded device sends the collected data to the cloud where it is stored and prepared to use for fitness applications & fitness software systems via the provided API.

IMAGINACTIVE

Imaginactive aims to make being physically active fun by combining exercise with entertainment. Their first product is an audio fitness adventure app called Apocalypse Survival Training, an ongoing comedy adventure in which every episode is a workout.

OLIVER (SPORTS DATA INNOVATION)                                        

Oliver is a platform that uses a smart shin guard to collect data and processes it with AI algorithms to deliver football-focused insights to players & coaches via a mobile app. They aim to solve the problem of +400 million amateur football players around the world who lack access to important data that can help them improve their game in terms of football skills, athletics & health performance. 

ORB

ORB is a hardware enabled sports analytics company who created a smart mouthguard which tracks athletes’ fitness, fatigue and effort. This information is then presented live to coaches - giving them real-time overview of both players’ health and performance.

ORPIX

Orpix produces brand exposure measurement data for sports broadcasts.  This data is purchased by sports market research firms like Kantar Sports, and is also valuable to brands, teams, stadiums.  Their computer vision and AI technology combined with a web application targeted specifically for creating exposure reports allows us to offer the best quality measurement data.

SAK               

Sak creates tailor-made sports protection gear, from 3D body scans and AI, that perfectly fit the athlete’s body. Military-grade materials minimize the impact energy and the optimized 3D shape uniformly disperses it, significantly reducing the risk of serious injuries.   

STATATHLON

Statathlon provides sports data analytics services to sports clubs, leagues, and the media, helping them understand, interpret and utilize their data. More specifically, Statathlon provides a unique Decision Management Tool that creates the 360-degree view of an athlete’s profile, that showcases what their body can do (Bio-athletic data), what their heart and mind can provide and uplift (Psychometric), and what they deliver on the football pitch or the basketball court (In-game performance).

WALLJAM

Walljam is an interactive sports challenge wall which combines the physical aspect of playing ball sports with digital performance outputs. Targets measure speed, power and accuracy of a ball strike with an app to track gameplay, capture/present results on a real time leader board.

The successful start-ups will now undertake a 12-week programme of workshops, mentoring and introductions designed specifically to support sport technology companies to develop and grow.

Associate Dean for Research at Loughborough University London, Professor Jo Tacchi, said about the programme:

“We get the opportunity to bring some potential collaborators onto campus and have an immediate impact on their business through connecting them with our expert researchers.  The businesses then in turn seek collaborations with us.  From data sets for our modules, to placements, internships and jobs for our students and graduates – it opens up the possibility to create real value and impact.”

Amongst the 2019 SPIN Accelerator cohort is Loughborough University Alumnus Rob Paterson and his performance tracking company Orb. Rob said:

“My journey with Orb started whilst I was a student at Loughborough University.  I was supported through what is now the Loughborough Enterprise Network, winning competitions and getting support through programmes in Loughborough and in London.  I’m now employing another Loughborough University graduate and have a research partnership with the University to develop my product.  Getting onto the SPIN Accelerator is a real testament to how far I’ve come – and how much support there is for start-ups at Loughborough”

In partnership with leading sports research institutions in Italy, Sweden and Australia, Loughborough University London is hosting the UK leg of the programme alongside the Hype Foundation.

The selection bootcamp took place 12-13 April at Loughborough University London. There will be a midpoint meetup at Loughborough University on 21-22 May and the final demo day in London on 28 June.

For more information about the SPIN Accelerator Programme, please contact Ben Cole by emailing B.P.Cole@lboro.ac.uk.

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Specialising exclusively in postgraduate-level study, Loughborough University London is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers cutting-edge master’s and PhD degrees, as well as business collaboration, research and enterprise opportunities.

The seven specialist institutes at Loughborough University London include: Design Innovation, Digital Technologies, Diplomacy and International Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Management, Media and Creative Industries, and Sport Business. Close industry partnerships with a wealth of leading businesses and creative organisations means teaching and learning is informed by real-life challenges and driven by true industry pressures.