SportsTech Emerges in Startup Space
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As we saw firsthand during our Cannon Ventures SportsTech pitch night, and also highlighted in the Houston Chronicle last fall, the sports startup world is a fast growing and high potential industry in the global startup ecosystem. Not limited to just in-game or event technology, “SportsTech” boasts a wide variety of potential tracks, including wearable technology, medicine, esports, training, ticketing platforms, and everything in between. As Houston’s emerging startup market continues to grow, there are a few SportsTech startups that have quickly become some of the most exciting in the industry.
How many times have you missed out on a game-changing play because you were waiting in line for concessions? sEATz is pioneering a new way to solve that problem – in-seat food and beverage delivery. Their mobile application works with concessionaires to provide both a platform for fans to order food and beverages from the concession stands, as well as an efficient system of runners to deliver the items. After running pilots in 2018 with the Houston Texans, UH and Rice Football, the Sugarland Skeeters and now Sweet 16-bound UH basketball (in the sparkling, newly renovated Fertitta Center), sEATz is well positioned to continue expanding to more venues, ensuring that fewer people will miss those big-game moments while stuck in the concession line.
Like sEATz, Win-Win also pitched at our SportsTech Pitch Night last fall. Founder and CEO (and Houston native) Mike T. Brown has created an exceptional platform for fans to connect with their favorite athletes’ charitable initiatives through competition based giving contests. From earning two-time All American status at Duke to teaching himself how to code following a four year stint in the NFL, Brown has done it all. With his pads officially stored in retirement, Brown has transitioned fully into the startup world and has developed Win-Win from an initial concept, through the prestigious 500 Startups program, to a platform that’s now worked with high profile athletes across all of the major sports, resulting in thousands of new donations to charitable initiatives of all sizes and beneficiaries.
Esports has become potentially the fastest growing platform in SportsTech, and Mainline is well positioned to ride that growth wave to success. Responsible for the largest event in The Cannon’s early history, Mainline established itself as a key player in the esports world early on after hosting a watch party for 600+ diehard fans of the Houston Outlaws at The Cannon’s original warehouse. Initially built off of FanReact’s community management platform, Mainline recently fully spun out, named a new CEO, and is continuing to develop its esports-only community-focused platform. Thanks to its exceptional team of developers, producers, and content creators, Mainline is uniquely positioned to become the leader in esports production
As the use of data in sports explodes, one of the key areas of this growth is in live-action GPS tracking, an area in which Integrated Bionics has become a major player in thanks to its Titan Sensor platform. The Titan and Titan 2 provide comprehensive performance analysis for athletes in any sport and in over 150 metrics, including sprint distance, top speed, conditioning, score, impacts, and much more. Already utilized by teams across a number of sports and at the youth, college and professional levels, Integrated Bionics and the Titan Sensor will be a key company to watch as SportsTech continues to grow.
These four startups are just a piece of Houston’s exciting SportsTech growth. As cities across the country have started to become hubs for specific types of technology, no such hub currently exists for SportsTech. With four extremely successful sports teams, a world class medical center, a massive network of youth sports and facilities, and almost year-round outdoor friendly weather, the time is now for Houston to become that hub, and we can’t wait to have a front row seat!