In partnership with NYC Media Lab, Verizon and Yahoo Sports have awarded $5,000 grants to four teams of entrepreneurs that will build new ventures in the sports arena. Kicking off this June, NYC Media Lab will take entrepreneurs through an 8-week Lean Launchpad program to encourage and support customer discovery and market validation — a familiar process as the Lab’s startup accelerator, The Combine, enters its fourth year.
The program was announced at the recent Sports/Media/Tech conference, a new event presented by NYC Media Lab and sponsored by Yahoo Sports and Verizon. At the event, technology, business and innovation experts from the sports, media and entertainment industries convened to discuss the future of the space, including the emergence of new technologies, and consequently, new types of fan engagement.
A key takeaway from the Sports/Media/Tech conference was how the promise of ubiquitous 5G technologies will impact sports. During the event’s 5G-focused panel, The Decade Ahead, Verizon Open Innovation Director Christian Guirnalda expressed that more and faster data will lead to better experiences. Sports/Media/Tech uncovered that sophisticated video technologies, virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence are among the trends that will radically change the way that sports media is created, distributed, consumed and monetized.
"Sports is one of the greatest aggregators of audience. Technology today is enabling audience and the fan experience for the individual. Technology makes the sports experience more individualized, more customized for your team and your fandom."
"The media space is changing and it’s going to change even more rapidly with the onslaught of 5G and other technologies that will allow for the creation of customized fan experiences."
"The folks who run leagues are trying to bring the stadium and arena feeling into the home."
With these insights in mind, NYC Media Lab led the Bootcamp’s recruitment process, beginning with an open call to its university consortium. Applicants were asked to consider building or expanding entrepreneurial concepts across 5G and emerging media topic areas:
How can 5G and an Intelligent Edge network impact the fan experience at next-generation sports stadiums, arenas and other “connected” venues?
How can 5G and an Intelligent Edge network enable more compelling and meaningful e-sports experiences for gamers and fans?
How can mobile-first applications of emerging media technology like augmented reality, computer vision, and personalization algorithms engage the generation Z (born in the mid 1990s to early 2000’s) audience for sports?
NYC Media Lab believes that entrepreneurs will lead the way in this new area of exploration, creating massive new opportunities for media and technology companies in a growing market. Learn more about the four teams that were selected to participate in the program below…
Joseph Huaynate and Luis Medina
University: CUNY Queens College
Hosting website for gaming tournaments which allows the audience to provide commentary of the gameplay.
Alberto Franco and Barsha Maharjan
Universities: CUNY Queens College & Parsons School of Design
An AR app allowing users to get current/up-to-date stats on a player by pointing your phone at a player. The app will also be able to identify the gear that the player is using and the user will be able to view the gear on him/herself.
Ray Luo and Yuka Fukuoka
Universities: Parsons School of Design and School of Visual Arts
A stadium experience that uses 5G AR cloud to convert user-taken live game video to motion models for VR experiences as memento from the game.
Gaurav Bhardwaj and Isha Chaturvedi
University: NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress
A VR based app, that allows users to join game rooms and connect with people to watch a 360-degree live broadcast of any game.
Please contact Amy Chen, NYC Media Lab’s Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at (email@example.com) to learn more about these startups.