Today marks the beginning of Techstars’ first SportsTech focused accelerator, the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy, a 13-week mentor-ship driven accelerator program supporting startups addressing solutions across the sports spectrum. Seeing great success with past accelerator participants focused on SportsTech solutions, including alumni such as ClassPass (Techstars NYC 2012), DRAFT (previously “Starstreet”, Techstars Boston 2009, acquired for $48M in 2017) CoachUp (Techstars Boston 2012) Brizi (Techstars Boston 2017) and Ubersense (Techstars Boston 2011, sold to Hudl in 2014), we are excited to bring a dedicated Sports focused accelerator to directly support and empower entrepreneurs in this exciting industry.
In partnership with founding partners Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Next Level Fund, 50 South Capital, NCAA, and Indiana Sports Corp, and supporting partners the Indianapolis Colts, NTT IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Techstars is proud to announce the 10 companies selected to participate in the inaugural class of the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy!
I’m thrilled to be joining Techstars as Managing Director of our new program, Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy.
From my experience running two venture-backed sports tech startups (CoachUp.com, Techstars Class 19, Techstars Boston 2012 and Draft.com, Techstars Class 5, Techstars Boston 2010 (under the brand StarStreet.com back then), I know firsthand the challenges that sports tech founders face, and the value that Techstars offers. I’m passionate about sports and about helping founders, so this opportunity really hit home for me.
When I founded CoachUp I was a 25-year-old first time CEO. Everything was new, and everything was hard. Now that CoachUp has hit profitability, after raising $15M in venture funding and partnering with NBA MVP Stephen Curry, I know that without Techstars—the program itself, its leadership, and its network of founders, angels, and mentors—we might not have made it off the ground. When I joined DRAFT as co-CEO we were 10 people in an apartment, working literally around the clock to make “fantasy for the people” a reality, and we did it, thanks to an amazing team and investors who stood by us.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned through my own startup experiences is that no one—and no company—succeeds alone. I try to live the Techstars value of Give First. Over the past six years I’ve dedicated pretty much all of my “free time” to doing just that, and helping startups succeed: as an LP in the Boston Techstars fund, a mentor at the Boston and NYC Techstars programs, an investor and advisor to over fifty venture backed startups, and the author of CoachingUp!, a book about authentic leadership… all of which has led me to this role.
I believe that we will build the best sports accelerator in the world. We have incredible partners, including founding partners Pacers Sports & Entertainment, NCAA, Next Level Fund, 50 South Capital, Indiana Sports Corp, and supporting partners the Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NTT IndyCar Series. The sports and venture communities in Indianapolis have rallied together to make this program a reality, and I’m thrilled to be joining them.
So, if you are a founder working in the broadly defined sports ecosystem, the ball is officially now in your court! Start your application today—or request office hours to show us what you’re working on.