MLSE, Ryerson’s Future of Sport Lab accepting applications for third cohort

Selected startups could see their products used alongside the Maple Leafs, Raptors.

The Future of Sport Lab (FSL), jointly-led by Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), is accepting applications for its third cohort.

Started in 2018, FSL looks to foster sport-oriented startups and provides mentorship from leaders in the MLSE network, academic programming from Toronto Metropolitan University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, and participation in sport-related innovation competitions, like hackathons .

MLSE is the parent company of many of Toronto’s biggest sports teams, such as the Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC, and the Argonauts, in addition to their development teams. MLSE owns or operates many of the arenas its teams play and train in, such as Scotiabank Arena, BMO Field, and Coca Cola Coliseum. MLSE uses its network to potentially give FSL selected startups the opportunity to pilot their products in these teams and arenas.

This is the first cohort to go ahead since COVID-19 disrupted the pitch day of the incubator’s second cohort in May 2020. In an email statement to Betakit, FSL representatives said this cohort will be different from previous ones as the programming becomes primarily virtual. However, there are plans for optional in-person networking events and a final in-person demo day.

The previous cohort contained five startups: ProWire, Zone7, Mission Control, Feidao, and StreamLayer. FSL focuses on companies that deal with athlete performance, business management, media engagement, fan experience, sport analytics and data capture, sport and social innovation, venue technology, and eSports.

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“This is such an exciting era for sport – with new technology advancing everything from fan engagement, broadcast and performance to NFTs and advanced analytics. I look forward to seeing what the next wave of innovators joining FSL will bring to the table” said Cheri L. Bradish, managing director of FSL.

FSL claims that previous startups that have gone through the program have raised over $30 million in new financing and investments, and secured a number of significant sport business partnerships.

The latest cohort is set to take place throughout the summer, with a demo day taking place in September. Applications are open until May 12, with selected startups expected to be announced on May 16.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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