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Six Startups Selected as First Companies to Join Ryerson and MLSE’s Future of Sport Lab Incubator Cohort

Sport tech startups to work within collaborative sport research lab to drive innovation across the sport industry
January 17, 2019
Future of Sport Lab, a vision of MLSE and Ryerson University

TORONTO, ON, January 17, 2018​ – Ryerson University and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) announced today the first startups selected for incubation at the Future of Sport Lab (FSL), external link​.

The selected startups were chosen 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 sport news, experiences and community that are created by women, for women.

“Our committee was thoroughly impressed by the passion and commitment shown throughout the pitching process. We are thrilled to have six dynamic startups be the first companies to join the Future of Sport Lab and leverage our network of academic and sport leaders to help drive innovation in sport,” said Cheri Bradish, director of FSL and the Loretta Rogers Research Chair in Sport Marketing with the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.

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. The FSL will focus on the latest industry innovations and research in analytics, athletic performance technologies, analysis of business management, fan engagement, consumer experiences and social innovation.

"We are incredibly excited to work with the FSL’s six startups and offer them a platform with our teams, venues and business," said Humza Teherany, Chief Technology & Digital Officer, MLSE. “With unprecedented support of  an incredible network of mentors, we are looking forward to have having new ideas and innovations that will ultimately help us with our overarching goal – to win championships and deliver exceptional fan experiences.”

About Ryerson University

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 45,300 students, including 2,600 Master's and PhD students, 3,800 faculty and staff, and nearly 198,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit ​www.ryerson.ca.

About Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), one of the world's premier sports and entertainment companies, owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto FC (MLS), Toronto Argonauts (CFL), Toronto Marlies (AHL), Raptors 905 (NBA D-League), TFC II (USL) and Raptors Uprising Gaming Club, the Toronto Raptors esports franchise in the NBA 2K League. Its charitable arm, MLSE Foundation, focuses on funding initiatives to support youth through sport and recreational programs. In 2017 MLSE Foundation, with support of community and corporate partners, built MLSE LaunchPad, a 42,000-sq. ft. space dedicated to programming that support its four Pillars: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Ready For School and Ready For Work. MLSE also owns and operates Scotiabank Arena, Canada's premier sports & entertainment venue hosting more than 200 events each year, two digital channels - Leafs Nation Network and NBA TV Canada and has a partnership with Live Nation - the largest concert promoter in the world. MLSE has also invested in and operates five of Toronto's sports facilities – Coca-Cola Coliseum, BMO Field, BMO Training Grounds at Downsview Park, home of Toronto FC's Academy and the First Team's practice facility, the Toronto Raptors' training facility and the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies.

Media Contacts

Greg McIsaac
Future of Sport Lab  
Tel: (416) 458-3591
greg@junctioncommunications.com

Charzie Abendanio
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
Tel: (416) 815-5455
Charzie.abendanio@mlse.com