From an app that helps young athletes build resilience, a revolutionary sharing device that lets you grab a broadcast quality clip from the TV with your phone, to a former Wiggle who wants every child to have the chance to engage in physical activity, ten SportsTech companies based in Melbourne and from around the world are gearing up to pitch to investors in the hope of attracting local and global attention.
The ten start-ups were selected from more than 100 applications to take part in Australia’s first Techstars SportsTech Melbourne Accelerator.
Victoria University joined forces with Tennis Australia supported by Launch Vic to partner with global juggernaut Techstars to nurture innovative entrepreneurs and their start-ups.
For the past three months, the ten start-ups have been working on their SportsTech start-up, and meeting Techstars mentors, including Victoria University’s Gus Balbontin (VU Innovations), Professor Sam Robertson (Institute for Health and Sport) and Hannah Gee (VU Innovations), to work on their products and refine their pitches for August 27 Demo Day.
“We are excited to see this amazing cohort of start-ups come through our first program. The quality of people, ideas and level of collaboration has been sensational under difficult circumstances. We are looking forward to continuing our involvement and support and to search for the next cohort of amazing sport tech start-ups,” said mentor Gus Balbontin.
This is the first year the pitches will be presented virtually due to COVID-19. The recorded pitches will be available online for three weeks beginning on the 27th. Each three to five minute presentation is hoping to attract the attention of investors on the lookout for the next ground-breaking SportsTech.
Program attracts diverse talent
In its inaugural year, the program has brought together a truly diverse group of companies from around the world including Australia, Spain, Germany, Austria, India, USA, Canada - all working on innovations aimed at disrupting and driving innovation in high-performance sport and grassroots participation, as well as event and media technology. The start-ups include:
- Elanation: Founder Aimee Atkins and Katherine Maree Pace have created the largest e-learning sports app for children. Formerly a performer with The Wiggles, Aimee created a platform where children learn, share and compete in fun physical activity skills each day to help combat sedentary lifestyles. With the overall goal of getting kids moving, for every consumer who signs up for their program, access is automatically given to another underprivileged child.
- Arete: Over their career, one in three elite athletes suffer from anxiety or depression, and 50% of these cases start before the age of 14. Arete is a digital coach made for youth athletes to improve mental wellbeing and resilience
- Swing Vision: Former Tesla Autopilot engineer and current founder Swupnil Sahai has created a computer vision-based tennis app that brings pro-quality analysis and coaching to amateur players via AI.
“It has been incredible to see the energy and resilience shown by all ten companies in what has been very much a unique program. The diverse areas covered by this year’s cohort is really reflective of some of the key challenges currently faced by sports globally, and we look forward to them all impacting sport for the better, both now and into the future,” said Sam Robertson, Professor of Sports Analytics at Victoria University.