Comcast announced its second cohort of companies for its sports tech accelerator, selecting 10 startups from more than 800 applicants in 44 countries. Key areas of focus are Media and Entertainment, Fan/Player Engagement, Athlete/Player Performance, Team and Coach Success, Venue and Event Innovation, Fantasy Sports and betting, esports and sports trading.
This year Comcast NBC Universal SportsTech Acceleratorpowered by Boomtown, is a 12-week hybrid program run by the Business Innovation Center of Truist Park in Atlanta. The inaugural class completed an all-virtual program, but its alumni have already started 29 pilot projects and partnerships with five business deals completed.
Jenna Kurath, Comcast NBCU Director SportsTechdescribes this year’s promotion as a little more developed than the startups of the first round. The selection criteria revolved around “three main areas of value, the first being the fit with the partner,” says Kurath. “The next thing, we were really intentional on the line of sight on the pilots and the proof of concepts that need to be done, ideally, in the program to really test and validate the technology, see if it has a strategic fit for the organization. And then the last one is just in founder form – do we really believe this is a team that can do it?”
The PGA Tour and WWE joined as advisors with existing partners: NBC Sports, Sky Sports, GOLF, Comcast Spectacor, NASCAR and three US Olympic sports organizations (US Ski & Snowboard, USA Cycling and USA Swimming). Halfway through this year’s accelerator is an in-person program called Project Three Count which will include a program with company founders and business advisors, as well as tours of three partner sporting events within driving distance. in Texas: the NASCAR race at COTA, the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open and WWE’s WrestleMania 38.
Each of the 10 companies is assigned a lead advisor in the program, but there will be cross-collaboration between the partners, says Boomtown executive director Chris Traeger, which will “accelerate the growth of these companies because they can do these tests with several elements of the ecosystem simultaneously.
The second cohort of companies – with their accelerator partner and company-provided descriptions – are as follows:
BookSeats.comNBC Sports: BookSeats.com simplifies the way fans travel by allowing users to book custom packages that include any combination of flights, hotels and/or tickets to events around the world.
HeadVantage, NBC Sports: HeadVantage visually captures “impossible” moments and sport glimpses, fused with biometric and performance data from the athlete’s perspective.
Social ice creamNBCUniversal Local: Ice Cream Social is a leading social platform that helps businesses turn their existing customers into brand advocates by rewarding them for inviting their friends.
LetzChatNBC Next Sports (Golf): LetzChat translates customer interactions—including captions, text messages, phone calls, chat support and websites—in the language of the viewer, which offers opportunities to improve viewing of sporting events.
Local sports networkNBC Sports Next (SportsEngine): Local Sports Network is a digital community that strengthens the bonds between sports fans, high schools and athletes.
meetleteNASCAR: meetlete is a fan engagement platform that allows fans to experience a 4-minute encountergreet with their favorite athletes.
MoneylineNBC Universal, NBC Sports Next (Paris): MoneyLine is a sports and entertainment game against the house that gives fans a chance to earn money easier and more creatively than ever before.
RemovalsSky Sports: Removals uses AI to analyze human form and movement data and facilitate their use by sports and entertainment organizations.
tapPGA TOUR: tiptapSPORTS brings improved contactless PaymentsMT experience at sporting events of all sizes, while allowing fans to support young athletes through contactless givingMT solutions in the community.
Uru SportsWWE: Uru Sports is the professional network for elite athletes providing opportunities, community and information to connect the world’s billion athletes to great opportunities around the world.