More than 80 startups headquartered in 17 different countries from five continents have applied to become one of the 10 finalists at the Euroleague Basketball 2020 Fan XP Innovation Challenge that will take place next month in Barcelona. Each of the startups was tasked with finding solutions to offer the best fan experience possible in one of three fields: broadcast-related fan engagement; in-arena fan engagement and/or smart arena solutions; and fan engagement through digital platforms.
From the startups that have applied, 10 finalists will be chosen from a jury to exhibit their projects at 4YFN, the startup exhibition of the Mobile World Congress with more than 25,000 attendees. They will also be able to present their pitches in a public session at the 4YFN conference, where a jury formed by top sports, tech, innovation, and investment specialists will select the winning startups.
4YFN is the world's most influential startup business platform enabling startups, investors and corporations to create, discover and launch new ventures together. Held alongside MWC, 4YFN is the forum for entrepreneurship.
The finalists will receive mentoring sessions with Euroleague Basketball executives to get first-hand insights from the elite sports sector, private networking opportunities to connect with sports/basketball professionals and jury members, and a chance to test the product at the EuroLeague Final Four in Cologne 2020.
Members of the jury include Dr. Stina Lundgren Högbom, the research and outreach manager at the SSE Center for Sports and Business in Stockholm; Sree Varma, founder, and CEO of iSportconnect, the largest global private network of sports business executives, and iSportconnect Capital, a new investor network providing investment opportunities for its members within the sport and leisure sector; Luis Vicente, sports transformation evangelist, working in senior executive roles or providing C-level consultancy services to some of the world's greatest brands in multiple sports; Dídac Lee, Co-Founder to Galdana Ventures, a fund of funds that invests in a selection of the best Venture Capital Managers globally, and member of the Board of Directors of FC Barcelona and the club's Head of Digital Area; and Susanne Timosci, a senior executive at Deutsche Fussball Liga who specializes in identifying, evaluating and enabling innovation opportunities through partnerships, JV's and M&A within the leagues' investment program "DFL4Equity".
The startups that applied were required to meet certain requirements: 1) possess a product or service that provides an innovative proposal to upgrade the fan experience in sports and generates new or expanded revenue opportunities for sports organizations, 2) possess a product or service with significant potential for growth and a unique value proposition for potential investors, 3) have been operating for at least two years and have at least two full-time workers, 4) possess at least one Minimum Viable Product, at least in private beta phase, and 5) have paying clients and/or users.