Sports start-ups in UEFA shoot out

30 May 2017

Principality Stadium

Software that helps coaches manage matches, a device that hones players’ passing skills and an app for fan-led lightshows are among 10 great start-ups that will battle it out in Cardiff’s Sports Innovation (SPIN) Final.

Companies will compete in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition in front of an international jury, with senior representatives from UEFA, FC Barcelona, Adidas, Amazon and Microsoft.

Participants include VIKTRE, a social networking site for three million current and former athletes, and Exerlights - the first tool to control training in real-time with LED-lights.

Globall Coach will also join the challenge on 2 June in Cardiff. Adopted by the Football Association of Wales, Globall Coach allowed Wales manager Chris Coleman and his staff to visualise instructions, creating tactical animations that play with a click of a button on a big screen.

The software helped improve the team’s win ratio by 25 per cent, driving them to the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2016 – the team’s first major tournament campaign for 58 years.

Bernd Wahler, Ex-Adidas CMO, VfB Stuttgart President who will chair the jury, said: “The quality of the startups is outstanding. We all want to maintain the beauty of the fascinating game and at the same time welcome meaningful and exciting innovations. That’s what this event is all about: showing the world the future of football.”

Other pitches include:

Cardiff University is partnering the HYPE Foundation, a global platform connecting and investing in sports innovation, for the event at Cardiff Business School’s high-tech Postgraduate Teaching Centre. A hackathon will precede it, giving students the chance to develop their own ideas for the beautiful game.

Amir Raveh, HYPE Foundation's CEO, said: “We’ve had a huge number of start-ups applying with great innovations including wearable tech, analytics, fan engagement and broadcasting. It’s a fitting warm-up for the UEFA Champions League Finals.”

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.

Media and guests are invited to RSVP here.

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