Chosen from over one thousand applicants in 70 countries, these 10 companies will bring their innovative solutions to Comcast NBCUniversal and the SportsTech partner consortium, which includes NBC Sports, Sky 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.
In collaboration with our partners who represent some of the strongest brands in sports, we are excited to mentor and learn from these founders and see how their technologies can drive innovation in the sports and entertainment industry. – Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer, Comcast Cable
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 accelerator 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. In the future, each company will have the opportunity to work at Comcast NBCUniversal’s Central Division Innovation Center in Atlanta at Truist Park, which overlooks the Atlanta Braves stadium.
“At Comcast NBCUniversal, sports, entertainment, and technology are central to what we do across our streaming, broadband, and aggregation businesses. Our inaugural SportsTech accelerator brings together this focus with our long tradition of working with founders and startups,” said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer, Comcast Cable. “In collaboration with our partners who represent some of the strongest brands in sports, we are excited to mentor and learn from these founders and see how 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.
Founded by Brennon D’Souza, Dibz technology allows venue attendees to upgrade their existing seats, either right before the show starts or at intermission. Working via the simplicity of texting without the need to download an app, venue-goers text a number advertised in the lobby of the venue, specific to that show, and immediately receive a text back showing what seats are available to upgrade. If they are interested, they click and receive the new ticket on their phone.
The concept does not cannibalize existing sales at venues. Instead, it prompts people already there to spend a little more to upgrade their seat. Once they’ve done so, their original tickets go back into the hopper, as it were, for others to potentially buy. Upgraders pay the difference in the ticket prices; Dibz gets a percentage of that payment.
“Acceptance into the NBCUniversal Comcast SportsTech accelerator firstly means validation of my vision for seat upgrades everywhere, and secondly it means that Dibz will receive investment, support and resources from a media and entertainment powerhouse, with a tremendous reach in the marketplace” ―Brennon D’Souza
To learn more, visit the NBCUniversal Comcast SportsTech accelerator.