Institute for Sport Business holds Virtual Sports Innovation Demo Day

Loughborough University London delivered its final demo day as part of the Hype SPIN® Accelerator.

Hosted by Michal Grundland, the virtual Demo Day welcomed 19 start-ups to provide a 4-minute pitch presentation showcasing their innovative ideas. The event was live streamed to over 500 global attendees from the world of sports, media and investment.

The online panel of judges ranked the presentations with two winners being crowned. Winners from the Institute for Sport Business sponsored Sustainability and Customization vertical were, Skizo, who make a customisable trainer made from recycled ocean waste and Gazella who have built an app that allows women to train in sync with their menstrual cycle. Skizo won for the Best Start-up Pitch of the Day, and Gazella for the Most Promising Start-up Pitch.

Speaking of the start-ups involved, Ben Cole, Head of Strategic Projects and Future Space at Loughborough University London, said:

“This cohort has been particularly receptive to our ideas and approach. They have excelled greatly and helpfully parked their founder ego’s so we can get under the hood of their business and really help them move forward. Although we crowned two winners on the day, through our mentoring sessions we have seen how each founder has set and attained goals and drawn real value from this programme – all of them are winners in our eyes.”

Dr Andrea Geurin, Reader within the Institute for Sport Business said:

“As a university we are constantly focusing on research and areas for growth in sport business. Being a part of programmes such as this accelerator keeps us engaged at the heart of innovation and provides many different ways to connect with the ever-evolving global sports industry.”

The 19 start-ups were selected from over 1,000 applications and have participated in an intense programme of leadership mentoring, business coaching, and webinars with sports industry leaders from around the globe since the 2020 SPIN® Accelerator launched in March 2020. Start-ups included:

  • Skizo
  • Just Football
  • Sport.Vision
  • Basicnet
  • Imminov
  • Movegeen
  • Race Radio
  • Fan+
  • ReSpo.Vision
  • Vulcam
  • Belong
  • Whip
  • Gryppers
  • Wetsleeve
  • Journey
  • AI Spotter
  • ExSports
  • Athlyzer
  • Gazella

Speaking about her win in the Most Promising Start-up category, Lucia Rubio of Gazella, said:

“The accelerator has been a great support to us as we have faced the tough challenge of scaling Gazella. The weekly mentoring with the other start-ups has been really amazing and it really motivates me to go beyond. I am so excited and proud to win the Most Promising Start-up category and look forward to continuing to connect with Loughborough’s sports innovation eco-system.”

This year’s SPIN Accelerator focussed on three main growth areas:

  • sustainability in sports
  • social impact
  • customisation

Hosted by Loughborough University London’s Institute for Sport Business and Hype Sports Innovation, the UK leg of the accelerator programme provided an opportunity for early stage companies who have an innovation driven solution to a challenge in sports to participate in a programme of virtual workshops, mentoring and networking.

If you are interested in connecting with future activities such as this you can join Loughborough University London’s Sports Innovation community here.

Loughborough University London is built on innovation and thrives on enabling others growth by identifying and anticipating game-changing business, market and technology trends through stimulating thought leadership. To find out more about the Institute for Sport Business, please see here.

HYPE Sports Innovation offers the collaborative innovation management platform for developing and realising opportunities aligned with strategic initiatives. To find out more about the programme, please visit their website.