InCrowd wins Sports TechPitch 4.5
InCrowd, an app that enables fans to connect and boost connectivity at sporting events, won the judges’ vote at Sport TechPitch 4.5 on 19 April 2016.
Founder Archie Woodhead explained, “Ticket buyers can’t connect in a crowded stadium, because 3G and 4G networks are overloaded at large events. If one app owner has a 4G connection in the stadium, that connectivity can be shared with all other app users in the stadium.”
imin, (pronounced ‘I’m in’) a start-up that uses open data to transform how users search and discover fitness classes in their area, tied for second place.
“We’re trying to solve the problem of physical inactivity, which is silently killing us and taking five days off the life expectancy of the next generation,” said founder Nishal Desai. “We’ve adapted the search and booking functions used by the travel industry to enables users to search for fitness classes in their area.”
Imin tied with Xmetrics, an activity tracker for swimmers that provides real-time feedback. “Our tracker is comfortably positioned at the back of the head,” explained Marketing VP Francesco Quartuccio, “and provides advanced data analysis. We want to introduce new sensors and software, and scale to triathlons.”
Kymira, a range of sportswear that embeds infrared technology into its fabrics to enhance sport performance, won an overwhelming first in the audience vote. Founder and CEO Tim Brownstone explained, “There haven’t been any new advances in sportswear since compression fabric was introduced. Our fabric harnesses and recycles the athlete’s energy to improve performance.”
Kymira is also in the process of developing smartwear that will monitor the heart rate and general health of its wearer, detecting – for example – heart and asthma attacks.
Event chair Richard Gillis spoke to the high quality and variety of the companies who pitched. “I’m in awe of all of you pitching,” he said. “You are all fantastic.”
“This is our second Sports TechPitch 4.5 and we couldn’t be more pleased with the caliber and range of the start-ups who pitched,” said 2Pears co-founder Petra Johansson. “The companies here tonight displayed some of the most exciting and diverse UK innovations in sports-tech.”
Other start-ups included:
–BibShot, an app that allows athletes to buy race photos directly from the spectators taking them;
–Matter Fitness, a smart fitness mat and app that track a user’s activity and provides feedback and content;
–Pactster, a marketplace for fitness videos online, and;
– VsportR, a company making photorealistic virtual spaces to provide immersive sports content.
Judge Nic Couchman of Sports Investment Partners, and sports business law firm Couchman LLP, believes that sports-tech is ripe for innovation, especially for clubs and team owners who want to build increase digital engagement. “Clubs and rights owners want to innovate, but don’t know how; techies should step in and build a bridge.”
“I’ve generally learned to look at the characteristics and dynamics of a team, but also their understanding of market drivers and of where critical growth can take place,” said Dom Moorhouse the owner of European Fitness League – also on the judging panel – when asked what he looked for when investing in a start-up. “Don’t try to fit technology into a hypothesized use. You need to understand the human psychology of how it will work, as well as have some proprietary hold.”
Chris Huey of NEON Adventures, Dan McLaren of Digital Sport and Iain McDonald of Lewis Silkin were also on the judging panel. McDonald agreed with Couchman that brands should look to using tech to activate their sponsorships, but that sports-tech start-ups should look beyond sports clubs as a route to market. “A lot of startups miss out that there are a number of routes other than the sports club,” he said. “They could look instead to sell into the broadcaster or elsewhere.”
Conceived, organized and executed by 2Pears – the team creating opportunities and events to inform, educate and connect entrepreneurs and startups in music, media and technology – Sports TechPitch 4.5 was held at the offices of our event partner Lewis Silkin in London. Sports TechPitch 4.5 partners also include Digital Sport and MediaTainmentFinance.
Our next pitching events will be TechPitch 4.5 on 11 May and 12 July, Fashion & Luxe TechPitch 4.5 on 17 May and Music TechPitch 4.5 on 6 July. Apply to pitch and buy tickets here.