Demo Day for Sweden's first sports tech accelerator program
The way we perform, consume and judge sports is changing. This was clear when the Swedish Olympic Academy gathered experts, startups and investors at the Stockholm School of Economics for the finale of SPIN Accelerator Sweden.
During twelve weeks, the Swedish Olympic Academy, together with the international organization HYPE Sports Innovation, have been running Spin Accelerator Sweden, an accelerator program focusing on sports innovation. The Swedish Olympic Academy (SOA) is a foundation founded by the Swedish Olympic Committee, KTH, Karolinska Institute and the Stockholm School of Economics.
Tools to create global success stories
Ten promising sportstech startups admitted SPIN Accelerator Sweden have received coaching in a program developed by KTH Innovation and the Stockholm School of Economics Center for Sports and Business, and been connected to a global sportstech network.
The accelerator program aimed at providing the companies with the right skills, tools and networks to accelerate their journey towards becoming global success stories. The program was an intense mix of virtual sessions with industry experts, online coaching sessions, and two physical meetups in Stockholm. The program leveraged HYPE’s international sports industry network, the connections and business expertise of the Center for Sports and Business, and KTH Innovation’s tools and experience from working with hundreds of early-stage technology startups from KTH.
Crowning the winners
The big finale of the program took place on June 25th at the Stockholm School of Economics. After all ten startups had pitched to the jury, the horsetech startup Equilab was named the winner. This Gothenburg-based startup helps riders improve the training of their horse, using an app that can measure for example the length of the training session, and what gait and pace you ride in. Currently, they have over 450 000 users worldwide, and keep growing.
Getting confirmation that what we’re doing matters and that other people see the potential in our company feels great, says Simon Bengtsson, CTO at Equilab. Gaining insights together with the others in the program, and learning from others sharing their journeys has been really valuable for us.
The award includes participation at a global tech-event, as well as costs-covered for the trip. JustFootball, another one of the startups in the program, won the jury’s honorary award for their mobile game that aims to get more young people moving. In the fall they get to present at SMASH, a massive sportstech event in Finland.
Sweden punches above our weight
That sports and technology is a hot topic was made clear already one day before the big finale, when specially invited guests got to listen to experts in the field, covering topics such ad how to optimize nutritional intake for elite athletes, and how Swedish football uses video analysis to create new opportunities for both spectators and players.
That sportstech is on the agenda in Sweden is no coincidence, says Lisa Ericsson, Head of KTH Innovation.
Sweden has always punched above our weight when it comes to both sports and innovation. We’ve built tech-companies that have scaled internationally, and our athletes are successful in tough competition. Combining Stockholm’s strong innovation system and academic excellence with an international network had proven very successful, and we’re proud of having been part of the program.
Empowering the athlete
The startups in SPIN Accelerator Sweden all focus on different sports and have different challenges, but what they do have in common is a will to empower the athlete, and improve how they experience their sport of choice. Their users range from the average golfer who wants to practice their swing without hurting their elbow, to the marathon runner who wants to know the distance to the closest competitor.
Even though the program is over, the participants can keep benefitting from the HYPE’s international network of thousands of sportstech startups and investors. Yariv Barak, Global Director of HYPE, said:
HYPE was looking for a partner in the Nordic region, who represented a unique combination of entrepreneurial spirit, strong fundamentals in sports and education, and experienced in nurturing startups. I am glad to say that we found such a partner in the Swedish Olympic Academy.
SPIN Accelerator Sweden was supported by Vinnova .
The ten sports tech startups in SPIN Accelerator Sweden
AISpotter has developed a time-saving, fast service for coaches all around the world. Their goal is to combine high-end technology and sports of any kind. With real-time analysis, coaches and teams are given the power to be one step ahead in team development.
Real football, virtual career. JustFootball is a mobile game inspiring more people to play football in real life.
RideQ is a horsetech startup that helps riders inprove their position using a new digital tool used while riding, with or without a coach.
Kinexit provides personalized workouts customized to your sport, limitations and needs. Their comprehensive system provides individualized and sport specific programs directly to your mobile phone. Developed by trusted movement professionals, Kinexit is sure to increase your mobility, strength and balance.
Straffr is a resistance band reinvented. A portable gym in your sports bag and a personal trainer in your pocket.
StepUp Air develops the new generation of fitness trackers with real-time breathing pattern and heart rate measurements and telling how your body really feels.
The Hooves app helps you plan and log all activities around your horse, and keeps your entire team up to date at all times. Get organized with Hooves, so you can focus on what’s important.
Race.se wants to make Sweden and the world more healty. Their digital service makes it easy to find your next race, register, find friends, and much more.
BodyBarista is an app for finding out your body measurements as well as monitoring your changes when following a fitness plan. It returns the exact value of your muscle groups in inches or cm more accurately than the bathroom scale based on pictures you take with your iPhone. It also measures your Body Fat Percentage based on the same pictures, which you can use to compare your Before & After figure.
The equestrian app which is used by more than 100 000 riders. Equilab automatically tracks your training and makes it possible to capture every movement. Deepen your insights and understand your progress.