Global sports accelerator programme welcomes applications from sports tech start-ups

Applications are now open for the SPIN Accelerator: a 12-week programme of workshops, mentoring and introductions specifically to support sport technology companies to develop and grow.

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

Up to 25 start-ups will be invited to attend a two-day bootcamp, where they will be invited to pitch in front of a panel of experts from across the sporting and investor worlds. Up to twelve of these sports tech companies will then be selected to take part in the full programme where they receive expert advice, workshops and guidance to scale their company.

Lead academic for the SPIN Accelerator, Professor James Skinner, said: “The Institute for Sport Business provides master’s programmes with an emphasis on innovation, in particular our MSc Sport Business and Innovation.

“As the industry continues to grow and evolve, we are now seeing an increased number of innovative sport tech start-ups entering the sport marketplace. The SPIN Accelerator programme enables our students to see how theory is put into practice and how their business ideas can become a reality. Students were invited to observe the sessions and pitches as well as act as ambassadors, giving them an opportunity to build their network within the global sports eco-system.”

The winner of last year’s programme was ARION, founded by Loughborough alumnus Dr Andy Statham.

ARION has developed a smart insole that slips into running shoes and can be used to educate runners and improve performance.

Commenting on the programme, Dr Statham said: “The Hype foundation and SPIN Accelerator program is a fantastic and much needed initiative in the sports tech industry. This emerging sector is quickly gaining momentum and there are many opportunities arising in various fast-growing sports markets.

“We see this as a springboard from which we can establish new partnerships and secure new investment in the company. We owe a big thank you to the SPIN accelerator team (especially Claire and Tim!) and Loughborough University, as well as all the supporting staff and participating companies.””

ARION and other finalists last year were given the opportunity to pitch in front of 150 guests from organisations including Adidas, Canal+ and Washington Redskins.

If you are interested in applying for the programme, fill out the form online before 29 March 2019.

Check out the footage from last year’s event which took place at the 2012 Olympic Velodrome.

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

The selection boot camp at Loughborough University London will take place 12-13 April. There will be a midpoint meetup at Loughborough University and the final demo day will take place in London on 28 June.

View the press release on the Loughborough University website for further information and resources.

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.