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Incubator

Startup Teamwork Brainstorming Meeting concept in office

 First Cohort of Startups Announced

Six startups were chosen to be part of the first Future of Sport Lab cohort from an impressive pool of applicants from across Canada and throughout North America.

Each group underwent an intensive selection process which included a full day of pitching to the FSL advisory committee and mentor network, featuring some of the top sport and tech business leaders across Canada.

The startups named to the Future of Sport Lab include:

  • Performance Phenomics, external link (Toronto, ON) – Delivering state-of-the-art brain imaging assessments that offers managers, coaches and athletes scientific insight into the athlete’s performance and guiding them to recovery.
  • Rival.ai, external link (Toronto, ON) – An eSports company providing industry standard scouting reports for teams, trainers and the gaming community through the use of artificial intelligence.
  • SkillShark, external link (Saskatoon, SK) – An integrated coaches platform for athlete evaluations across multiple sports.
  • Spalk, external link (New York, NY) – A virtual sportscasting studio providing hundreds of different commentators on live broadcasts.
  • Stakes, external link (New York, NY) – A platform that allows real-time sports wagering between friends.
  • The Gist, external link (Toronto, ON) – Providing sports news, experiences and community that are created by women, for women.

Startups will receive immersive programming in partnership with the Ted Rogers School of Business, direct guidance from notable mentors in the FSL network, access to leading academics, and opportunities to pilot with MLSE teams and venues.

To learn more, read the press release, see our FAQ, or contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

The FSL Incubator is an innovative lab based at Ryerson University, created with sponsorship from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Partnership (MLSE), that brings together thought leaders on sport innovation with a deep network of successful sport properties, industry partners, and leading experts, all with the steadfast aim of creating value by facilitating meaningful innovation in sport. The FSL Incubator will empower seed-stage startups to achieve product-market fit. Incubation will involve a range of supports, including monthly “huddles” where founders and the FSL network of advisors and mentors, including representatives from MLSE, meet in person for intensive, multi-day development “sprints” consisting of one-on-one meetings, targeted programming and workshops, and honest evaluation.

The FSL Incubator takes no equity (unlike prevailing sport-focused incubators), doesn’t require founder relocation, and doesn’t constrain startups to specific sports or markets. The sole focus is value creation through meaningful innovation, with the expectation that venture investment, customer discovery, and product-market fit occur organically within the network, and are not predefined.

Ideal applicants are in the early “seed” stage of their startup, have a product that can be pilot tested within the next 4 months, and aim to raise between $500K and $5M in the next 12 months. Businesses do not yet need to be established but should plan on being so within the next 6 months. The FSL Incubator is striving to receive applications from a diversity of founders, teams, and perspectives.

Yes. The FSL Incubator has been designed as a leading incubator that can host diverse founders and teams from around the world.

Founders admitted to the FSL Incubator program are required to be physically present in Toronto and participate in all activities during venture “huddles” (including graduation day). Admitted founders must also participate in weekly venture update sessions, but they can do so either remotely or in person.

No.

The FSL Incubator is a vision of MLSE and Ryerson and is co-funded accordingly.

The FSL Incubator application window will open on November 1 at 12:00 pm ET and close on November 22 at 12:00 pm ET. The 20 applicants will be invited to Pitch Days, happening on December 3 and 4 in Toronto. Notification of admittance to the FSL Incubator will occur in late December, with the incubator commencing in January 2019.

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