Technology touches every industry – sports are no different, and now Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment (MLSE) is getting in on the action, announcing that its new sports technology incubator in partnership with Ryerson University is now accepting applications.
The ‘Future of Sport Lab’ created in partnership with Ryerson and MLSE was first launched in September and as of Nov. 1 it is accepting applications for its first incubator cohort.
Ten startups will be selected for the four-month incubator project, that will begin in January according to the press release. Those chosen will be able to work with academics and mentors from Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Business and most notably, be given the opportunity to pilot projects with the MLSE teams and venues.
“Delivering championship teams and the ultimate fan experience for our fans is MLSE’s primary focus,” said Humza Teherany, chief technology and digital officer at MLSE in the September press release, “[and] innovation is a key part of our ability to enable our teams to perform at the highest levels but also to deliver new ways to engage our fans with exciting new technology.”
The lab will be co-managed by the university and professional sports group and will be open to sport-related startups looking to work on sport innovation and research. It is operated by Cheri L. Bradish, a sports marketing professor with Ryerson University.
Areas of focus will include a variety of sports-related technology including, analytics, athletic performance technologies, analysis of business management, fan engagement, consumer experience and social innovation, according to the newest press release.
In the September launch, Ryerson called the lab one of the first of its kind in North America.
“We’re proud to be doing something unique. Unlike other sport-focused incubators and hubs, the Future of Sports Lab takes no equity, doesn’t require founder relocation and doesn’t constrain startups to specific sports or markets. Our focus is developing high-impact sport innovation underscored by research and mentorship,” Bradish stated in the release.
Applications for the incubator are due Nov. 22 by midnight and finalists will have to participate in a pitch day where founders will present their business to the advisory committee. Those chosen to participate will start the program in January 2019.