INDIANAPOLIS – September 3rd, 2019 – Ten startups from around the world will present on Thursday, September 5th at the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy Demo Day at NCAA’s headquarters in downtown Indianapolis.
“I’m thrilled by the progress our 2019 class has made over the course of the past 14 weeks,” said Jordan Fliegel, Managing Director of the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy. “This year’s class represents 10 startups, in 10 different verticals across the sports industry, from 8 different cities, including as far away as Moscow. These talented founders, many of them working on their 2nd or 3rd companies, moved to Indy to participate in our intensive program, and have all dramatically accelerated the trajectory of their companies. I’m really proud of our founders and look forward to introducing them formally at Demo Day on September 5th as graduates of the top sports accelerator in the world.”
Demo Day is a showcase event for the 10 startups to present to an audience of venture capitalists, corporate leaders, industry experts and the Indy ecosystem. This year’s class includes diverse startups such as Pistol Lake, led by 3-time entrepreneur Ryan Light, which ethically produces men’s athleisure wear out of sustainable materials including recycled plastic bottles and eucalyptus pulp, with each shirt produced removing up to 11 plastic bottles out of landfills and/or the ocean. The event will also include George Foreman Jr., Founder/CEO of Fanpowered, and a successful serial entrepreneur. Fanpowered’s mission is to fundamentally disrupt the world of professional boxing, through a new platform and streaming service.
As an emerging tech hub, Indianapolis is the location where, for the past 3 months, startups in the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy worked closely with leaders of the Indianapolis Sports and Tech ecosystems and mentors from around the world — comprised of venture capitalists, experienced founders, C-level execs from leading sports companies, and celebrity athletes — to further their businesses. This includes direct access and mentorship from founding partners Next Level Fund, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, NCAA, and Indiana Sports Corp, and supporting partners the Indianapolis Colts, NTT IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“We are excited about our partnership with Techstars to further accelerate entrepreneurship, technology and innovation in our local economy,” said Stephen Simon, Pacers Sports & Entertainment Vice Chairman. “Indianapolis is emerging as the premier sports-tech hub in the world with our professional and amateur sports pedigree, great employee talent pool, business-friendly environment and amazing Hoosier hospitality. At Pacers Sports & Entertainment, we are always looking for products, services and creative thinking in our continual quest to create memorable, engaging and treasured moments for our fans and guests. Our business craves innovation and forward thinking that Techstars and all our great partners help us achieve.”
“Indiana Sports Corp and its partners are proud of the quality and innovation of the first class of Techstars Sports Tech Accelerator companies in Indianapolis,” said Indiana Sports Corp president Ryan Vaughn. “This program brought some of the most talented entrepreneurs in the world to our city and we look forward to them leveraging their technology to improve the sports and tech industries in Indy and beyond.”
The accelerator’s partners were vital in providing hands-on mentorship throughout the program, connecting the startups to industry experts and inking many partnership pilots. Throughout the program Techstars Sports founders were able to experience all that Indy has to offer including access to world-class sporting events such as the Indy 500, and suites and field passes at the Colts pre-season games. Indianapolis’ tremendous support for the accelerator also included a private meeting for the founders with Indiana Governor, Eric Holbcomb.
Learn more about the 2019 class of the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy, here.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars enables founders to connect with entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars accelerator alumni including Classpass, DataRobot, DigitalOcean, Outreach, Pillpack, Remitly, SalesLoft, SendGrid, and Zipline have a current market cap of more than $23 billion. Founded in 2006 by co-founders and co-CEOs David Cohen and David Brown, tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Brad Feld, and the current Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, Techstars is known for developing the principle of #givefirst, a core value of giving to and helping others without a direct expectation of a transactional return. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Techstars employs more than 280 people across 20 countries. Learn more at techstarsblog.wpengine.com. For More Information about the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy, please visit https://techstarsblog.wpengine.com/sports-program.
About the Next Level Fund
The Next Level Fund, established by the Indiana Finance Authority, is a charitable trust operating separately from the state and its board serves as its trustee. 50 South Capital Advisors LLC, a global private equity firm with a large Midwest presence, including an office in Indianapolis, administers the fund. The Next Level Fund was launched as part of Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s 2017 legislative agenda.
About Indiana Sports Corp
Founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission, Indiana Sports Corp is a not-for-profit organization focused on bringing premier sporting events to Indiana to drive economic vitality, facilitate a vibrant community with civic pride and garner positive media attention. Because of this, Indiana Sports Corp is able to provide positive, sports-related opportunities for youth in the community. For more information, please visit IndianaSportsCorp.org.
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a diverse association of more than 1,100 member colleges and universities that prioritize academics, well-being and fairness to create greater opportunities for nearly half a million student-athletes each year. The NCAA provides a pathway to higher education and beyond for student-athletes pursuing academic goals and competing in NCAA sports. More than 54,000 student-athletes experience the pinnacle of intercollegiate athletics by competing in NCAA championships each year. Visit ncaa.org and ncaa.com for more details about the Association and its student-athletes.
About Pacers Sports & Entertainment
Pacers Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) is an integrated sports and entertainment company including the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Pacers Gaming, Pacers Foundation, Inc., and operations of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Our team of inspired and dedicated employees has a shared purpose of WINNING through our commitment to excellence, SERVING our local communities and ENTERTAINING our fans and guests. PS&E is based in Indianapolis and was named a 2018 Best Place to Work by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
About the Indianapolis Colts
The franchise has won four World Championships. Since relocating to Indianapolis, the Colts have won 11 division titles, including five consecutive AFC South crowns from 2003-07. The Colts won 115 regular season games from 2000-09, the highest decade total in NFL history, and the team’s 23 consecutive regular season wins (2008-09) set another NFL record. The club won Super Bowl XLI following a 12-4 record in the 2006 regular season, and the Colts reached Super Bowl XLIV after winning the AFC title during the 2009 season. The Colts take great pride in playing an active role in the community and are committed to corporate citizenship throughout Indiana. Leading by example, we hope to encourage and inspire our fellow Hoosiers to participate in the practice of giving back.
About Hulman Motorsports
Hulman Motorsports is committed to worldwide leadership in motorsports entertainment through its two entities, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and INDYCAR. IMS is the world’s largest spectator sporting facility and the most famous racetrack on Earth. It hosts renowned racing events and series, including the Indianapolis 500 (Verizon IndyCar Series), Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) and Red Bull Air Race World Championship. INDYCAR is the Indianapolis-based sanctioning body for the fastest and most competitive open-wheel racing series, the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Today marks the beginning of Techstars’ first SportsTech focused accelerator, the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy, a 13-week mentor-ship driven accelerator program supporting startups addressing solutions across the sports spectrum. Seeing great success with past accelerator participants focused on SportsTech solutions, including alumni such as ClassPass (Techstars NYC 2012), DRAFT (previously “Starstreet”, Techstars Boston 2009, acquired for $48M in 2017) CoachUp (Techstars Boston 2012) Brizi (Techstars Boston 2017) and Ubersense (Techstars Boston 2011, sold to Hudl in 2014), we are excited to bring a dedicated Sports focused accelerator to directly support and empower entrepreneurs in this exciting industry.
In partnership with founding partners Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Next Level Fund, 50 South Capital, NCAA, and Indiana Sports Corp, and supporting partners the Indianapolis Colts, NTT IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Techstars is proud to announce the 10 companies selected to participate in the inaugural class of the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy!
I’m thrilled to be joining Techstars as Managing Director of our new program, Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy.
From my experience running two venture-backed sports tech startups (CoachUp.com, Techstars Class 19, Techstars Boston 2012 and Draft.com, Techstars Class 5, Techstars Boston 2010 (under the brand StarStreet.com back then), I know firsthand the challenges that sports tech founders face, and the value that Techstars offers. I’m passionate about sports and about helping founders, so this opportunity really hit home for me.
When I founded CoachUp I was a 25-year-old first time CEO. Everything was new, and everything was hard. Now that CoachUp has hit profitability, after raising $15M in venture funding and partnering with NBA MVP Stephen Curry, I know that without Techstars—the program itself, its leadership, and its network of founders, angels, and mentors—we might not have made it off the ground. When I joined DRAFT as co-CEO we were 10 people in an apartment, working literally around the clock to make “fantasy for the people” a reality, and we did it, thanks to an amazing team and investors who stood by us.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned through my own startup experiences is that no one—and no company—succeeds alone. I try to live the Techstars value of Give First. Over the past six years I’ve dedicated pretty much all of my “free time” to doing just that, and helping startups succeed: as an LP in the Boston Techstars fund, a mentor at the Boston and NYC Techstars programs, an investor and advisor to over fifty venture backed startups, and the author of CoachingUp!, a book about authentic leadership… all of which has led me to this role.
I believe that we will build the best sports accelerator in the world. We have incredible partners, including founding partners Pacers Sports & Entertainment, NCAA, Next Level Fund, 50 South Capital, Indiana Sports Corp, and supporting partners the Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NTT IndyCar Series. The sports and venture communities in Indianapolis have rallied together to make this program a reality, and I’m thrilled to be joining them.
So, if you are a founder working in the broadly defined sports ecosystem, the ball is officially now in your court! Start your application today—or request office hours to show us what you’re working on.
Want to Define New Cross-border, Cross-currency Money Movement Technologies or Deliver Winning Sportstech Solutions? Applications Now Open for Techstars Q2 2019 Mentorship-driven Accelerators!
Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, is excited to announce the opening of applications for two 2019 Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerators across the United States.
Techstars will be opening applications on December 3rd for two new mentorship-driven accelerator programs: Western Union Accelerator, Powered by Techstars, based in Denver, Colorado, and Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy, based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Each accelerator is accepting applications through March 3rd, with programs kicking off the week of June 10th.
As a global leader in financial services in cross-border, cross-currency money movement with a heritage of over 150 years of innovation, Western Union (NYSE: WU) is excited to help startups bring cutting-edge customer solutions to the ever-changing financial services industry, and have access to entrepreneurial talent and emerging technologies. Western Union Accelerator, Powered by Techstars is looking for entrepreneurs and startups addressing digital customer experience, point-of-sale solutions, fraud prevention, digital ID, cross-border transaction processing, digital wallets, and other related technologies.
Founding partners of Techstars Sports Accelerator including Pacers Sports & Entertainment, NCAA, Indiana Sports Corp, Next Level Fund and 50 South Capital, and supporting partners the Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series are proud to come together to propel innovation geographically in the Indy region, as well as industry-wide in the world of sports technology. The business of sports is big and the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy will focus on disruptive technologies across the sports landscape from solutions for fans, player/driver safety, ticketing, merchandising, athlete performance management and athlete wellness across the technology spectrum. Everyone will be a winner!
At Techstars, we’ve created the network that supports your startup by surrounding you with the right people to mentor, inspire and challenge you and your team. Check out these founder stories from Techstars alumni companies like SendGrid, ClassPass, and DigitalOcean to learn how each Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator program facilitates an environment where entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses and move towards growth and success.
This past October, SendGrid (Techstars Class 4) was acquired by Twilio (a Techstars Ventures portfolio company) for nearly $2 billion. Both Twilio and SendGrid have been impacted by Techstars over the years. In many ways, this deal is just the latest, headline-grabbing step in a nearly decade-long story about the power of the Techstars network in action.
Over the past 11 years, more than 1600 companies from countries around the world have participated in Techstars accelerator programs, raising over $6 billion in funding. With Techstars worldwide network of 10,000+ mentors, partners, investors and founders, we’re excited to continue our mission and source the next wave of promising entrepreneurs to join our community. Apply today to take the next step in your startup journey and join the Techstars worldwide network.
Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and the SportsTech founding partners Next Level Fund, Indiana Sports Corp, NCAA and Pacers Sports & Entertainment and supporting partners the Indianapolis Colts, Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are joining together to bring a new mentorship-driven accelerator program to Indianapolis: Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy.
The three-year accelerator program will launch at the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May of 2019 and will support innovative startups across many sectors, stages and business models aiming to combat issues in sports technology.
The Techstars Indy team will source, select and accelerate 10 of the most-talented companies in the following potential areas: fan participation, player/driver safety, ticketing, merchandising, athlete performance management, athlete wellness, among others. The accelerator provides startup founders with mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts, and the chance to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists at the culmination of the 13 weeks.
The Techstars Sports Accelerator will have a key focus on innovation with goals to foster early identification of key trends for future technology in sport; meaningful engagement with early-stage sports tech companies; embrace technologies and business models that will impact the sports industry; and enhance a culture of internal innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurship.
Applications will open in December 2018 with the program kicking off in May 2019.Companies interested in applying are encouraged to fill out the General Interest Form.