Ryerson University and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) are now accepting applications for a second cohort of the Future of Sport Lab (FSL).
Launched in 2018, the FSL incubator offers startups mentorship from the MLSE network, academic programming from the Ted Rogers School of Management, and pilot projects. The incubator does not take equity or require relocation.
“We learned so much from being in the Future of Sports Lab incubator. It exposed us to all sides of the sports industry in Canada.”
The incubator’s first cohort offered four months of incubation, beginning January 2019. The companies that participated included The Gist, which provides sports news and content targeted to women, Spalk, a virtual sportscasting studio allowing broadcasters to synch multiple commentators on a livestream, and Rival.ai, which uses artificial intelligence to provide sports intelligence.
Startups selected for the program have the opportunity to pilot products and services with MLSE’s brands, venues, and partners, and participate in hackathon and innovation programs.
“We learned so much from being in the Future of Sports Lab incubator. It exposed us to all sides of the sports industry in Canada – from teams, to media, to brands – and helped us make meaningful connections with all of them,” said Ellen Hyslop, co-founder of The Gist. “Our business also really benefited from the mentors and the general FSL network that we were immediately connected to as being part of the incubator.”
At the recent Athlete Technology Summit held in Toronto, BetaKit spoke to Cheri Brandish, founder and managing director of the FSL. She noted that artificial intelligence technology and e-sports are becoming increasingly popular in the sports tech industry.
“We see those things becoming more and more important,” she said. “The new verticals in sport are really becoming incredibly popular in terms of what [we] look at and focus on.”
Startups interested in applying to the second cohort have until September 30 to apply here.
Files from Meagan Simpson
Image courtesy Future of Sport Lab