With the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Rugby World Cup being held in 2019, Tokyo has become the next hothouse of growth in the field of sports. The market spending on sports technologies is expected to increase as Tokyo brings the sports world together. Sports Tech Tokyo provides a mentor-driven program for startups developing state-of-the-art sports technologies.
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The Sports Tech Tokyo program has been designed to accelerate the next generation of sports technology with a focus on bringing together the best and the upbeat from across the world. The program is presented by one of the world’s largest advertising brand, Dentsu and a U.S-based venture capital firm, Scrum Ventures. Sports Tech Tokyo was founded by Brian Kopp and Tracy Deforge, both experienced entrepreneurs in the sports industry.
The Eligibility Criteria
Sports Tech Tokyo offers three different categories- play sports, watch sports, and support sports.
Play Sports-This category supports the athlete’s performance that include-
- Team management and data analytics
- Physical and mental health care
- Physical and mental training
- Professional products and services
Watch Sports– This category offers a stadium experience to sports enthusiasts that includes-
- Live entertainment
- Attendance tracking and ticketing
- Immersive experiences
- Ancillary products and services
Support Sports– This is a fan engagement program that includes-
- Online fan engagement
- VR and live streaming
- Social Media and marketing
- Games and content
Sports Tech Tokyo for Startups
The top 150 startup companies will be selected as participants and will get access to exclusive content and events to help further their business. The top 10-20 companies are selected as the finalists and will have the opportunity to further grow their business through a three-month mentorship program.
The Sports Tech Tokyo program brings in remarkable mentors together who can help in finding the most favorable opportunities and work with participants to produce great solutions. The mentors include founders, professionals from the industry, and industry investors. The mentors participate by meeting with the teams and also help them on their pitches, while others provide workshop or talk.
The team selection
The teams are selected based on the answers submitted in the application form and product demo video provided at the time of application. The most promising teams go through a series of interviews conducted by the Sports Tech Tokyo committee until the selection of final teams is done. The selected teams get a notification of acceptance, however, acceptance does not guarantee a business deal.
The selection process of participants is supported by a mentor community of more than 60 professionals, leagues, brands, executives coming from teams, technology companies, and venture capital firms.
Startups of any age can apply for the program. Even student applications are also accepted, however, in case of a minor, approval from parents is mandatory. Applications that do not fall on any of the categories mentioned under the eligibility criteria as mentioned above are also accepted. Sports Tech Tokyo’s goal is to find products and services that have the potential for partnerships and making new businesses impactful.
An overview of the Sports Tech Tokyo’s current participants
At the beginning of 2019, Scrum Ventures and Dentsu released a list of 36 companies. There was participation from 15 countries which brought the wide-ranging group of sports technology to Japan. Their Tokyo kickoff in April hosted more than 500 attendees, 106 startups, advisors, mentors, and corporates from Japan and the larger Asia Pacific region. After the final list was announced which consisted of 12 finalists, they were gathered in SF to kick off three-month virtual program that included webinars. The culmination of this program happened on 20th August on World Demo Day.
It is expected that another 100 companies will be announced by 2019 winters.
Sports Tech Tokyo- Driving future sports and innovation in Asia
With 150 innovative companies gathering in Tokyo, Sports Tech Tokyo has become a full-fledged accelerator in sports tech. Sports Tech Tokyo is reinventing the sports community globally by bringing in companies whether it’s a pre-revenue or a soared business with global deals together and offers them an opportunity with mentorship and the ability to find their tribe with whom they can work in Japan.
Sports Tech Tokyo aims to build a community that is diverse and is not limited by stage, geography or the area of focus. With the storm of sports content coming up in the next couple of years in Asia read Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022, Sports Tech Tokyo realizes that there is so much that needs to be transformed so that they can connect the world to sports innovation.