Japanese advertising giant Dentsu has teamed up with a US venture capital firm to launch an accelerator program for sports technology companies.
San Francisco-based Scrum Ventures and Dentsu have developed Sports Tech Tokyo, a one-year program they hope will provide business opportunities for companies to test marketable products.
Available from January, the program is seeking applications from startups focused on a wide range of sports-related technologies and will initially select 150 companies to work with in the US and Japan.
Venture investments in sports startups grew to US$1.5 billion in 2017, according to Deloitte – marking a 50-per-cent increase in two years.
With Japan hosting two major sporting events in the next two years – the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics – the country hopes to add further value to the sports technology business.
Scrum Ventures invests in sports technology for athletes and consumers, including wearable devices, sensors, and virtual reality (VR) technology.
“The sports tech market is rapidly growing and is one of the hottest investment fields,” said Tak Miyata, founder and general partner of Scrum Ventures, which invests in wearable senors and virtual reality (VR) technology for athletes and consumers.
“Together with Dentsu, Sports Tech Tokyo will foster innovation by matching Japanese companies with the best and brightest startups from all over the world.”