A new start-up incubator and amazing Swiss start-ups driving the digitization of sports

17.05.2018 09:24

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The Spot

The first edition of the THE SPOT, ThinkSport’s new sport and innovation event, came to a successful conclusion. 40 start-ups presented at the conference and a new incubator was announce by Philippe Leuba.

The SwissTech Convention Center was transformed into an open space with a dynamic atmosphere, where participants were exposed to a wide range of engaging content and experiences all happening at the same time. The sold-out event started with the announcement of a new sport incubator for start-ups, which will further stimulate the unique sport ecosystem in Lausanne and the region.

The incubator will be jointly created by the Canton of Vaud, the City of Lausanne, ThinkSport, the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), in connection with the Smart Move academic network. The news was revealed by Philippe Leuba, State Councillor and Head of the Department of Economy and Innovation of Sport (DEIS) of the Canton of Vaud. While additional details of the initiative will be released at a later stage, the move is seen as a demonstration of the strong political will to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial activities in sport and physical activity.  

Another highlight of the event was the start-up competition, co-organized by Venturelab. Start-ups specialising in blockchain, virtual reality, data analytics, connected venue, performance & health and other fields went toe to toe in front of an enthusiastic crowd and juries made up of investors, experts from the Olympic Movement, and business leaders. 

ForwardGame AR of Germany was declared the winner of THE SPOT’s inaugural Start-Up Battle however, several Swiss start-ups received awards, too. The audience had a say in the proceedings, choosing their favourite start-up of the final round in a telephone vote. Fanpictor may not have been crowned champion but winning the hearts of the public was nevertheless a nice consolation prize. Fanpictor develops digital and on-site fan engagement solutions for both brands and rights holders.

Swiss health firm be.care was awarded the“Quantified Athlete Prize” from Swiss Timing, giving it the enviable opportunity to work with and receive financial support from Swiss Timing on a communal project. Enmouvement, meanwhile, won the“Swiss Coup de Cœur,” a CHF 2,000 prize offered by the extended organising committee to the most promising Swiss start-up at the competition (Picture above). Enmouvement, based in Lausanne, offers specific, integrated and innovative care to all sport-loving patients, from amateurs to professional athletes.

“We are really happy with this first edition of THE SPOT and received very positive feedback,” said the organiser of THE SPOT, Anna Hellman, Director of ThinkSport. “Our hope is that we provided a special and valuable experience for each and every participant. Personally, I especially liked the informal setting which enabled really good interactions among the delegates. I felt everybody was accessible and keen to share their experience, leaving all silos outside the door. That was our aim. We already have many new ideas for the second edition next year. Stay tuned!”

(Press release)

Picture: The Spot

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