Sporting ‘Dragon’s Den’ marks UEFA Final

24 May 2017

Football stadium

Great ideas to revolutionise the world of football will be showcased at a glittering Sports Innovation Final in Cardiff.

Companies from around the world bid for the chance to take part in the HYPE Foundation SPIN Final at Cardiff University on 2 June.

Ten lucky winning finalists will pitch their start-ups to a Dragon’s Den-style panel of top names from international football the day before the UEFA Champions League Final at the National Stadium in Cardiff.

The jury includes:

  • Bernd Wahler, Ex-Adidas CMO and VfB Stuttgart President (Head of Jury)
  • Professor Laura McAllister, Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University
  • Guy Laurent Epstein, Marketing Director, UEFA
  • Jamie Heywood, Amazon
  • Ignacio Mestre, CEO, FC Barcelona Foundation
  • Stefan Wagner, SAP
  • Professor James Skinner, Loughborough University.

Amir Raveh, HYPE's CEO, said: “We’ve had a huge number of start-ups applying with great innovations across sectors including wearable tech, analytics, fan engagement and broadcasting.

“The competing companies promise to make our SPIN Final in Cardiff a fitting warm-up for the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday 3 June. It’s exciting to see the start-ups that will shape the future of football."

Cardiff University is partnering the HYPE Foundation to deliver the invitation-only event at Cardiff Business School’s high-tech Postgraduate Teaching Centre. A student hackathon will precede the event, giving students the chance to develop their own ideas for the beautiful game.

Professor Hywel Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Engagement at Cardiff University, said: “Innovation plays a huge role in sport. Football technology is constantly evolving, from the introduction of goal line technology and artificial pitches to the development of 3D printed football boots. This event will give our students a chance to pitch their ideas to a remarkable panel of international judges.”

Companies will be pitching on the day of the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final between holders Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain at Cardiff City Stadium - the first all-French UEFA competition final. Juventus face holders Real Madrid in the men’s final on 3 June, marking a return for hometown hero Gareth Bale.

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