By Adam Crough
The world’s largest startup accelerator, Startupbootcamp (SBC) takes a unique approach to startup incubation. By grouping startups according to a domain or industry, the program provides tech startups with access to very focused and relevant mentoring and support, along with partnership and investment opportunities.
As sponsors, mentors and intrepreneurs-in-residence on three of the Melbourne-based SBC accelerator programs — Energy, Fintech and now Sports and Event Tech — DiUS gets to share our expertise from 15+ years of working with clients of all sizes, and at every stage of the innovation journey. From the inner workings of product development and innovation — to running workshops on agile fundamentals, customer validation and experimental design.
Pitching for feedback
Last month, we were invited to attend SBC’s Sports and Event Tech Fast Track event at the Australian Grand Prix.
Fast Track events are designed to provide instant feedback to startups wanting to be part of the SBC program from industry experts, potential partners and investors. 10 local Victorian startups were invited to pitch at the event, receive feedback and hear more about SBC’s accelerator program.
With a backdrop of Albert Park Lake simmering in the morning sun, Sports and Event Tech Program Director, Ollie Howard kicked off the Melbourne leg of the program’s global tour with an introduction and overview of SBC.
Then it was time for each of the start ups to pitch their idea to the group. Anyone who has presented in a time-boxed manner will appreciate that five mins goes quickly, especially when talking passionately about something these startups have been living and breathing, daily.
Once the startups had presented their pitch amongst the roar of racing cars old and new, it was time for the partners and mentors to have more in-depth conversations with each of the startups. These feedback sessions are like speed dating, where the startups gradually work their way around the room meeting partners and mentors who are gathered in small groups.
The event wasn’t just limited to discussing the business of sports and event tech, everyone was able to take in the sights and sounds of the Australian Grand Prix, including a walk down pit lane.
Aussies sports innovation on point
The startups demonstrated just how diverse the sports and event tech landscape really is here in Melbourne, which is not surprising given the city’s self-appointed title as the sporting capital of Australia and indeed the world.
Here are the startups we heard from on the day:
Blinxel is a democratized augmented reality content and creation platform where anyone can record, distribute and view realistic 3d content.
Fantasy Esports is a non-wagering fantasy esports platform for the global gaming community.
Friends of Mr Ed is a new racing app designed by owners for owners. A personalised way to see all your horses in one view, chat with other owners and share the fun of ownership.
Signmee is an online forms platform that provides signing solutions through response data, summary report, and authentication.
Sportspass powers the platform behind loyalty, rewards, and sponsorship activation programs for sporting clubs and associations.
Weyoume is a decentralized social media platform, based on blockchain technology. It enables freedom, transparency and community to flourish at a global scale.
Humense is a volumetric video company solving the capture and display of humans for augmented reality and virtual reality.
LetsTrainMe matches the right trainer with the right pupil, bringing personal trainers and customers together.
TidyHQ is a membership management software used by groups, organsations of all sizes that makes membership administration simple for the entire board or committee.
Treiner is a football coaching marketplace service providing players of all skill levels the opportunity to increase their abilities, learn new skills and become better players both on and off the field.
Ultra Sync Sports is an app that connects all fans all around the world, so the team can see the huge support which extends far beyond the sport arena.
Intix is a ticketing technology solution business for the event, entertainment and sports industries that allows anyone to create, share and attend events of any kind including music festivals, exhibitions, sports events and local club functions.
Changing the game plan
Despite the massive disruptions caused by the coronavirus, Ollie and the rest of the SBC team were able to complete their global scouting tour. Applications for the program closed on 27 March, and with the program starting on 25 May, Ollie and his colleagues at SBC have the unenviable task of selecting 20 startups from around the world to pitch at a Selection Days event for the final 10 spots in the accelerator program.
In the words of the great India batsman, Sachin Tendulkar “Success is a process. During that journey sometimes there are stones thrown at you, and you convert them into milestones.”
Normally the SBC Selection Days event would be held in Melbourne but of course, in these times, it swiftly — and seamlessly — pivoted to a virtual event being held in May.
If you’re interested in talking to us about our work with startups or the Startupbootcamp Sports and Event Tech Accelerator Program, please get in touch.