10 start-ups selected for the Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator

Monday 22 February 2021

Today Comcast NBCUniversal announced the 10 start-ups selected for the inaugural Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator, of which Sky Sports is a partner.

The companies were chosen from over one thousand applicants from over 70 countries. The startups will bring their innovative solutions to Comcast NBCUniversal and the SportsTech partner consortium which include Sky Sports, NBC Sports, Golf, NASCAR, U.S. Ski and Snowboard, USA Cycling, USA Swimming, and Comcast Ventures.

Startups were selected based on their technology solutions focused on the accelerator’s eight focus areas: media and entertainment, fan/player engagement, athlete/player performance, team and  coach success, venue and event innovation, fantasy sports and betting, esports, and the business of  sports.

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 program, which kicks off today and lasts 12 weeks, will be held virtually. The founders will participate in this immersive program from cities across the globe, including Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Geneva, Switzerland.

The companies will engage in a custom curriculum featuring workshops on fundraising, sales, marketing and branding, product/market fit, mental health, company culture, and working with corporations, and will meet seasoned startup founders who will share their insights on building and selling highly successful businesses.

James Clement, Director of Operations at Sky Sports said: “Our industry is changing faster than ever and SportsTech gives us deeper access to brilliant startups who we can collaborate with, offer mentorship to and learn from. We’re seeing some exciting ideas and relationships develop already.”

Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer at Comcast Cable said: “At Comcast NBCUniversal, sports, entertainment, and technology are central to what we do across ourstreaming, broadband, and aggregation businesses. Our inaugural SportsTech accelerator brings together this focus with our long tradition of working with founders and startups.

In collaboration with our partners who representsome of the strongest brands in sports, we are excited to mentor and learn from these founders and seehow their technologies can drive innovation in the sports and entertainment industry”.

The Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech accelerator program will feature mentorship from industry leaders from Comcast NBCUniversal as well as strategic advisors from the Boomtown network and the partner consortium, including Will McIntosh, Executive Vice President, Digital and Sports Consumer Business, NBC Sports Group; Lora Dennis, Senior Vice President, Digital Media NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations;  Steve McElwee, Chief Technology Officer, Digital Sports and Sports Consumer Business at NBC Sports; and Craig Neeb, Chief Innovation Officer of NASCAR. Jenna Kurath, Vice President, Startup Partner Development and Head of SportsTech, will lead the startup teams as they work with mentors and business units throughout the program and beyond, and as they seek deals or proofs of concepts with Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky brands.

At the conclusion of the program, the companies will participate in a virtual Demo Day on May 26, 2021, and present their businesses before some of the world’s leading venture capitalists, startup founders, business executives, and media.  

The 2021 class of the inaugural Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator includes:

Ane Swim
a William Pleshette Company, Atlanta, GA

William Pleshette Company designs advanced swimming apparel for diverse swimmers, and aims to eliminate the barriers that keep people from enjoying the water. Their flagship product, Ane Swim, provides hair protection and the ability to keep hair completely dry so that everyone can enjoy the freedom of swimming.

Toronto, Canada

For event venues that have unsold seats, Dibz provides a text messaging solution for guests to instantly upgrade their seats.

Eon Media
Toronto, Canada

Eon Media makes a full-featured suite of next-generation video-streaming software with 60-70% cost savings and zero code change which can bring customers targeted, user-personalized experiences using advanced AI/machine-learning methods.

Geneva, Switzerland

GlobalM provides professional streaming solutions in broadcast quality to media outlets and broadcasters featuring an advanced secure video streaming network to meet the requirements for high-quality, low-latency LIVE or file-based video delivery over the Internet.

Dallas, Texas

Real-time predictive analytics designed for fan engagement, nVenue’s AI/ML software delivers powerful play-by-play predictive insights to fans before each play.

Safety Skin
Cleveland, Ohio

Safety Skin develops and sells reflective skin and body care products to help cyclists, runners, and others prevent accidents and improve roadside safety.

Sharper Sense
New York, New York

Sharper Sense develops a neural interface that enhances athletes’ perceptual ability, leading to enhanced awareness and reaction times during training and competition.

The Sonar Company
San Antonio, Texas

The Sonar Company uses proprietary ultrasonic tone technology to transmit and receive data, interactions, beacons, and messages between devices in locations where traditional wireless communications is impossible or impractical. 

Los Angeles, California

StreamRecap builds video solutions for teams, leagues and streamers across all esports, with a focus on instant automatic highlights and coaching tools.

Atlanta, Georgia

XiQ develops smart devices that replace the conventional key ignition on most non-automotive vehicles, including golf carts and construction vehicles. They enable security, fleet IoT, and mobility sharing solutions to alleviate the transportation challenges facing many communities today.

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our 24 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.

Our technology, including the market leading Sky Q, connects people to everything they love - TV, music, games, online video, fitness and educational content, all in one place, easy. Our streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, I Hate Suzie and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, while Sky Arts, the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel, makes the arts accessible for everyone. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity and we’ve put in place a new programme to invest £30million across our markets over the next three years to tackle racial injustice.

About Comcast SportsTech

Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech is a 12-week accelerator program, run in partnership with Boomtown Accelerators, that features an unprecedented partnership of three of Comcast NBCUniversal’s sports brands - NBC Sports, Sky Sports and Golf Channel – alongside NASCAR and three US Olympic sports organizations: U.S. Ski & Snowboard, USA Swimming, and USA Cycling. This partnership brings an early lens into innovation solutions, exclusive access to research and business insights, and differentiated value to Comcast’s media rights relationships. The program brings creative solutions to the partner consortium and to market through the lens of eight core investment categories: Media & Entertainment; Fan/Player Engagement; Athlete/Player Performance; Team & Coach Success; Venue & Event Innovation; Fantasy Sports & Betting; esports; and the Business of Sports. Learn more at www.Comcastsportstech.com for more information.