Comcast NBCUniversal announced the first class of startups chosen for its SportsTech accelerator program, buying equity in 10 companies across technology, apparel and performance categories.
Boomtown Accelerators is a partner in the investments, and NBC Sports broadcast partners like NASCAR, USA Cycling and USA Swimming are involved in the selection and mentoring process.
“Every company was chosen because there is a strategic fit,” SportsTech head Jenna Kurath said. The startups will participate in the 12-week program, which in the future will leverage Comcast’s space next to the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park. The program ends with a demo day on May 26.
The 10 companies chosen from more than 1,000 applicants are:
—Ane Swim, an apparel company aimed at diverse swimmers
—Dibz, a tech service to help fans upgrade seats
—Eon Media, a video streaming software firm
—GlobalM, a low-latency streaming tech provider for broadcasters
—nVenue, an analytics company focused on fan engagement
—Safety Skin, a body care product producer for outdoor athletes
—Sharper Sense, a brainhacking startup
—The Sonar Company, an ultrasonic data transmission business
—StreamRecap, a highlight creation organization
—XiQ, a company developing smart devices for vehicles
Matt Barbini, the national team director of performance for USA Swimming, called the partnership “a breath of fresh air and a step forward for us.” Rather than dealing with inbound pitches for technology products, the sporting body can connect with companies early to see how their tools could be crafted to work in his sport’s underwater world.
Barbini will be paired with Ane Swim CEO Trish P. Miller as a mentor. “It’s critical for our sport to have as big of a base as possible,” Barbini said. “A product like this that will reduce the barrier to entry … will help us be better down the line.”