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A trip to Stadia Ventures’ pitch & demo day

SportsTech excellence in the cold Midwestern January

Our 2020 SportsTech travel calendar started off strong. Only a few weeks into the new decade, we traveled across the pond to Saint Louis, Missouri for Stadia Ventures’ Spring 2020 Finalist Pitch Day on January 22nd and 23rd. After receiving many applications, Stadia invited a select group of founders to pitch their businesses to the Investment Committee and over 140 Senior Leaders in Sports & esports with the chance to take part in Stadia’s Accelerator cohort.

Stadia Ventures is a sports innovation hub that connects, educates and mentors entrepreneurs, industry partners and investors. Part of Stadia’s mission includes their Accelerator that specifically helps established sports business startups get to the next level through a combination of equity investment, intensive mentoring, and connections to the top sports business executives. Last fall, we were among the judges for Stadia’s selection days for its Fall cohort in Frisco, Texas and as an important hub for the global SportsTech landscape, we were happy to travel the U.S. once again to participate in another event hosted by Stadia.

The day’s focus was of course on the 10 finalists, out of whom Stadia would select its spring cohort 2020. But we also got to see some familiar faces throughout the event and took part in engaging networking sessions. To kick everything off, Tim Hayden, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Stadia Ventures, opened the event with introductions before the first set of pitches began. After the pitches, attendees also had the unique chance to demo the products or solutions presented by the finalists.

The Pitch Day Finalists

This year’s group of finalists represented a regional mix of companies from all over the world, who wanted to take the next step in order to get into Stadia’s program and become Cohort X, the 10th edition.

Here are the 10 finalists we heard from:

DataPOWA — London, UK

A sponsorship and digital marketing agency providing brands and rights holders with detailed measurement of actual and potential value of sponsorships alongside digital maximization solutions for marketing programs.

Edge — London, UK

The back office for the esports industry that automates payments, contracts, data feeds and player profiles for gamers, teams, leagues and brands.

Lasso Gear — Los Angeles, California

Injury prevention meets sportswear that resulted in the development of the first product, a compression sock that mimics kinesio tape, which is currently used in every major sports league and in youth sports.

MoodMe — California, Belgium & Luxemburg

A face augmented reality experience and insights platform powered by Face Neural Networks (AR filters, and emotion, gender, age detection & identification) that helps brands create memorable and measurable personalize customer experiences

recruits, and conveniently stores them separate from personal correspondence.

Rezztek — Bratislava, Slovakia

Setting a new market standard for professional and amateur hockey players through patented material for the hockey stick’s blade, which allows for better puck control, faster and more accurate shots and is fully customizable to players’ needs.

SenSwim — Tel Aviv, Israel

Proprietary, user-friendly and sophisticated machine vision technologies that enable swim teams and individuals to measure and record a variety of important parameters in real-time and offline, monitor performance, analyze data, and provide feedback to improve swimmers and coaches’ ability.

Snapscreen — Vienna, Austria

Enables TV clip creation and distribution in social media by allowing viewers to snap the TV and instantly get a HD clip to rewind, trim, and share.

Trufan — Toronto, Canada

A social intelligence platform disrupting the influencer marketing space by helping brands activate grassroots communities made up of super fans and micro-influencers.

Uplift — Palo Alto, California

Provides an AI-based kinematic analysis platform that helps analyze and improve human movement in real-time. Their software uses proprietary deep learning models and algorithms specifically designed to understand human motion.

Whistle Recruiting — Salt Lake City, UT

Trusted by 40+ Div I football programs, a recruiting communication platform for coaches and recruiting offices that intercept messages and phone calls from.

The Spring Cohort 2020

And the five teams that ultimately made it into the new cohort are:


Lasso Gear



Whistle Recruiting

Congratulations to all companies who are gonna work together with Stadia! Due to the current COVID-19 crisis the decision was made to run this program in a virtual setting.

Global Sports Demo Day

In the second afternoon we heard from three “accelerated” startups that were included in Stadia’s 2019 Fall cohort. As part of Stadia’s Graduation process, two Demo Days (Hometown Demo Day and a Global Demo Day), take place. Each founder pitches investors, potential customers and the media. The goal of this day is to secure additional funding, new partners, customer sales, or an exit.

The three startups that pitched were:

Clicktivated — Detroit, Michigan
Pioneer in clickable video and directly connects viewers to individual products and information inside video simply by clicking on them as they watch. Clicktivated works with iconic brands like Target, Tommy Hilfiger, Yahoo, Kohl’s, Pure Michigan and many others.

Funder — London, UK

Technology platform that powers lotteries, raffles and sweepstakes to incentivize tribal communities and fan bases to give to good causes and be rewarded with epic cash and experience prizes.

LiveStyled — London, UK

B2B SaaS platform that helps venues and business owners better understand and respond to their visitors, and spans across mobile commerce, ticketing, location services, customer identity, mass participation, while powering mobile apps, websites and digital signage.

Another fantastic trip

It was great to network with fabulous individuals and to see first-hand all the efforts being made to help startups succeed. Big thanks to our friends at Stadia for the invitation once again, we were happy to be involved. Learn more about the SportsTech scene in the U.S. in our North American SportsTech Report. And checkout a few of the finalists from Europe that were included in our European SportsTech Report as well.

Benjamin Penkert is the Founder of Berlin based SportsTechX — Data & insights about SportsTech startups and the surrounding ecosystem. You can get in touch via Linkedin, Twitter or email.



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Benjamin Penkert

Benjamin Penkert

Founder of @sportstechx. All about #sportstech and #startups.