Loughborough University staff and alumni help global sports innovation start-ups to scale

Some of the key contributors to Loughborough University’s sports innovation eco-system came together earlier this month to support nascent sport innovation and technology companies.

Part of Loughborough University London’s SPIN Accelerator, companies from the UK, USA and across Europe joined alumni and staff for an afternoon of virtual mentoring. The bootcamp session was another example of how the university's sporting, technological and entrepreneurial might can join forces across its two campuses. Staff from Loughborough University London, Loughborough University's School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS), and the Research and Enterprise team were joined by global mentors from La Liga, Chelsea FC, and Sports Interactive. 

The mentors also included recent alumni from the Institute for Sport Business, Harriet and Charlie.

Harriet Eastham graduated in 2017 and now works as a Performance Analyst for Southampton FC. Harriet said:

“I got to meet some great companies with some solutions that had real potential for application in my day job.” 

Charlie Heyworth graduated in 2018 and now works for Chelsea FC, said:

“It was great to be part of such an innovative programme. I was part of the programme as a student when it first started so it was great to come back and share my insight on working in the sector.” 

The Hype SPIN® Accelerator is a business acceleration programme open to all early stage companies who have an innovation-driven solution to a challenge in sports. Hosted by Loughborough University London’s the Institute for Sport Business, this year marks the third year of operation for the accelerator.   

Lead academic for the SPIN Accelerator and Institute Director, Professor James Skinner, said:

“Programmes like the SPIN Accelerator give the Institute for Sport Business so many different ways to connect with the ever-evolving sports industry. For our students and staff, it offers a chance to make connections, build our network and develop our practice as an institute. Giving scalable businesses the opportunity to access our academic sporting and decision-making knowhow through programmes like our accelerator is invaluable to our researchers. It gives them the opportunity to develop real world solutions for real world problems” 

The programme will culminate in a virtual demo day at the end of July in front of leading investors, sports brands and members of the wider sports eco-system.   

If you would like to know more about the SPIN Accelerator programme please contact Ben Cole, Head of Strategic Projects.   

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 2020 QS World University Rankings 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 2020 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.