World Football Summit (WFS), in partnership with Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft (GSIC), are launching the StartCup 2020, an international competition that aims to locate the best sportech projects and/or startups with innovative solutions that can impact the sports industry in general, and football in particular.
In its four previous editions – three in Madrid and one WFS Asia edition in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) – this competition received more than 800 applications from startups around the world. 30 of them had the opportunity to present their solutions to the world’s industry leaders at World Football Summit, the international reference event of the industry.
The winners of the first four editions, 3D Digital Venue, Thermohuman, GameReady and YBVR, respectively, have since gained great notoriety in the sportech ecosystem. They are currently working with top international sports entities such as LaLiga, NBA, Ligue 1, Australia Open, MLB, MLS, Mutua Madrid Open, Davis Cup, Manchester City, FC Barcelona, Wembley Stadium or Atlético de Madrid, among others.
The call is for projects and/or startups that offer solutions that impact the football particularly and/or sports industry in general in any of the following areas:
- Team & player performance
- Business insights & analytics
- Smart & immersive facilities
- Fan engagement & experience
- Media platforms
- Generation of sponsorship
- eSports, emerging sports, virtual currencies & betting
- Mitigation of pandemics & public health
The call aims to showcase, support, nurture, and train entrepreneurs to transform their projects into successful companies, while improving their projection, growth, and scalability. In addition, this year there is a new feature, as startups are invited to present innovative initiatives aimed at responding to the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which will have multiple and important consequences for the sports industry in the upcoming months. .
“From the GSIC we have created a catalogue of solutions, which is constant update, to help sports entities to mitigate the COVID-19 crisis, but we are convinced that the current situation is a learning experience for everyone and we must have identified the solutions that will help us to be better prepared for this kind of emergencies in the future“, says Iris Córdoba, General Manager at GSIC.
“Technology plays an essential role in football. In recent years, solutions have been implemented to allow improvements in all areas of sport and industry, some of which have come out of this StartCup. But football must still benefit from technology, especially in the light of the coronavirus crisis. In the upcoming months, sport will have to face some challenges that can only be overcome through technological innovation. At WFS we are proud to be able to contribute by acting as a link between entrepreneurs and industry,” agrees Jan Alessie, Director of WFS.
The call will be open from May 14 to June 21. The 16 top-ranked proposals will have the opportunity to present their solution to the jury during WFS Live powered by Octagon, a new virtual congress with a global reach that will gather the most important international industry leaders from July 6-9. It will be then when the eight finalists will be selected to make the live pitch at WFS20 (September 23 and 24 in Madrid), where the final winner will be chosen.
- Application opens: May 14, 2020
- Application closes: June 21, 2020
- Selection announcement: June 29, 2020
- Online pitch at WFS Live: July 9, 2020
- Finalists announcement: July 27, 2020
- Live pitch at WFS20: September 23 & 24, 2020
Click HERE to apply