Start-up Technology

Start-up Euphoria: the challenges connecting new technologies and sports

By Steve Madincea | July 13, 2017

What’s not to like about creating a technology and sports related start-up in 2017?

First off, the technology transformation of industries is the most exciting business activity we will see in our lifetime. Think about it, as it must be a similar transformational feeling to when electricity became the norm in business.

Secondly, in my view sports popularity will continue to grow as the world becomes even more connected. So, who’s really focused on bringing these two powerful forces together? Not many, based upon my research.

Sure, some are doing it as an extended tail of an existing product like Facebook, but other than wearables not many are contemplating a sports first approach with technology.

Over the next 90 days, I will engage with some of the biggest and most interesting technology companies in the world. I will also meet with sports industry leaders, attend tech and sport seminars to uncover key insights while diving into research far and wide to define our future vision.

I’m not interested in taking something existing and making it 10% better, I am much more interested in developing genuine game changers. Simultaneously we will engage with all the start-up funding options available.

Here’s an example to help you with my thinking. The Premier League used painted A-frame pitch signage prior to today’s modern LED signs. Such an innovative piece of technology has revolutionised this aspect of sport to allow more brands to participate and at a much higher level of creativity.

Pitch signage was a cottage industry prior to a former client bringing this modern technology to sport in the UK. These LED pitch signs are now a multi-billion-dollar global business. That’s the kind of technology-led transformation I will be developing with the new team.

Having created more than ten successful start-ups, I know first and foremost the new enterprise will start with people. The new team must buy into our vision for the future while simultaneously not being frightened that it is not entirely mapped out. We will meet with technology companies big and small looking for tools and inspiration to propel us forward.

We will use our experience in sports, science, engineering and data to collaboratively explore and deliver future products. Our deep connections within worldwide sport will help us gain frontline insight into today’s problems and tomorrow’s challenges.

Our commitment to a transparent, collaborative and team-focused environment will be augmented by the latest business operating technologies and industry leading employment practices. We have already committed to adopting employee best practices from Pixar, Netflix and Google that we will mesh with our own successful experiences.

Equally, we will not be fearful of trying new concepts like team training days every week, not merely once a year. The four finalists for our office location are all technology hot beds and we will select the best location for access to talent, technology as well as quality of life.

It’s an amazing time to launch a start-up and in 90-days I will let you know how we have progressed with our ambitious plans for creating a technology-led sports enterprise.

About the contributor

Steve Madincea is an entrepreneur and innovator within the sports industry. His last two award-winning start-ups PRISM and Outside the Box were sold to WPP Group PLC. Because Madincea has created start-ups in the United States, Asia Pacific and across Europe and the Middle East he is widely accepted in boardrooms throughout the world. When not building future enterprises Madincea can usually be found training for half-marathons and using this time as valued thinking time as well.

Start-up Technology