Startup competition to bring the world’s best new tech to LaLiga
Startup competition to bring the world’s best new tech to LaLiga
  • The Spanish league already features the world’s best footballers. Soon, it will be enhanced by some of the planet’s top new tech talent.
  • Global competition, launched in collaboration with Microsoft’s Global Sports Innovation Center (GSIC), will look for new innovations in the areas of media, fan engagement, smart venues and performance.

LaLiga and the Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft (GSIC) have launched a new competition to find the best new technology talent within the sports and entertainment industry.

The competition from the Original Inspiration Centre, created by LaLiga with support from GSIC, aims to grow digital talent and create a path into the industry for disruptive new companies around the world.

Several different kinds of innovations will be considered with the competition based on four main categories: media, fan engagement, smart venues and performance.

LaLiga has had a collaboration agreement with Microsoft since 2016, based on the joint objective of promoting innovation and continuing the digital transformation of LaLiga.

Each finalist will begin a pilot project with LaLiga and will also benefit from a LaLiga immersion week, where they will undergo working sessions to help implement their solutions into Spanish professional football.

Finalists will also enter a three-month acceleration programme with GSIC and free membership of its 200-company network. As part of this they will receive mentoring sessions, access to Microsoft technology and introductions to investors. At this stage, pilot projects selected by LaLiga will also begin development.

In the media category, proposals based on the likes of over-the-top (OTT) media services, analytics and anti-piracy will be considered. For fan engagement, the competition organisers are looking for ways to advance in eSports, social media and virtual reality. For the smart venues category, security, ticketing and payment solutions are being sought. The performance category requires solutions in areas such as sports training or injury prevention.

As well as offering start-ups a route into the sports and entertainment industry, this project will significantly benefit LaLiga and Spanish football, positioning the league as the leading tech competition in the world and further improving the experience for players, clubs and fans.

“At LaLiga we are committed to the development of the best technological innovations that help to improve the experience of our fans and the technological growth of our clubs,” Minerva Santana, LaLiga's Innovation Director, explained. “What’s more, with this kind of initiative, we reassert our commitment to empowering talent in the football industry.” 
The applications process is open until March 30, when a shortlist of 25 candidates will be drawn up. Shortlisted companies will then present their ideas during May, with 10 winners selected.

Further details of how to apply to the competition can be found here.

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