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Infront Lab - turning sports tech startups into champions

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The sports tech industry is booming. More than 7,000 startups are competing to reach the top in a market expected to be worth at least $30 billion by 2024.

With so many new players with such high attrition rates, it’s hard to tell which ideas will survive. So how can entrepreneurs develop game-changing “must-have” tech that makes the grade? 

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Many startups seek partnerships with larger companies to tap into their ecosystem, finance and knowhow. Unfortunately, these collaborations do not always deliver - either the fit is wrong, the product is not ready, or the corporate does not really understand the startup mentality.  

To address this dilemma, Infront has created Infront Lab - an innovation arm specially designed to support promising startups in developing cutting-edge, market-ready offerings.

The Infront Lab team first carefully scouts the market for promising startups, then assesses and works with them to fire test and nurture their ideas before considering whether and how to move into closer collaboration. The Lab’s portfolio already features fully-owned products such as Active Hero to investments such as urban exploration app District, AI-driven video enhancement company Minute.ly and partnerships with trailblazers such as automated video specialists WSC Sports. 

 

The Lab model accelerates the normal incubator process, saving startups years often lost in product development. We have already scouted more than 500 companies, assessed 100 startups and piloted 16 ideas, leading to investment or collaboration with eight tech pioneers. On Infront’s Day of Innovation 3.0, 12 startups will also have the opportunity to pitch to our team. 

TechCrunch research suggests fan engagement technologies connected to live streaming, eSports and content platforms will have the biggest impact on the industry in 2020, with athlete performance tech and stadium experience coming in second and third. 

This sounds about right, but our industry insight suggests groundbreaking startups can have a much wider impact on every facet of the sports industry given the right conditions as recently witnessed at the Men's EHF EURO 2020. Infront's partnerships with technological start-ups enhanced the tournament's impact achieving a broad reach. With Infront Lab, we are creating that platform to transform the sports tech industry and the destiny of the best startups entering the market each year.

 

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