SportsTech 2021: Top trends and startups – Part 4

We present our next interview series featuring a range of global experts who highlight their prediction on tech trends to impact physical activity levels and sportstech startups to watch out for. 

Missed our previous pieces? Check out part one,  part two and part three now!

Stina Lundgren Högbom, Global Relationship Manager at Health and Sports Technology Initiative  

Tech trend

We as users collect a lot of data with the help of different gadgets and products while share this with communities as a motivational factor.

However, unless you are a Sport Scientist, it can be hard to understand what the collected data is really telling you.

As a trend, I think 2021 will bring more personalized data outputs with the help of AI, where several data sources (subjective and objective) are combined, and you feel that the data describes you and how you feel that day.

With daily exercise recommendations therefore adapted to you.

Startup(s) to watch

Svexa (US)

This is a sportstech startup that uses AI to personalize training recommendations. They provide the individual athletes with daily recommendations and the home fitness market with backend algorithm solutions.

Svexa gained traction during 2020 as the home fitness market exploded and signed several contracts. 

RaceID (Sweden)

This is a global meeting place for race participants and organizers including any endurance sport. It’s very inspiring to follow how they strive to be in the forefront of new timing solutions and develop the customer journey for their race participants.  

They now have customers in more than 32 countries. 

Photo of Stina Lundgren Högbom
Photo of Stina Lundgren Högbom
Logo of Health and Sports Tech Initiative
Logo of Health and Sports Technology Initiative

Jean Baptiste Roy, Founding Partner of AST Asia Sports Tech

Tech trend

These are 2 interesting trends that we see at AST, which subsequently are driving physical activity: 

  1. TheOutdoorisationof Sport 
  2. Acceleration and adoption of AI coaching/remote coaching. 

 These trends will lead to even more data collection, remote monitoring/learning/coaching and integration of these datasets on platforms will ultimately lead to the democratization of sports by enhancing participation, and where learnings from professionals will be more widely accessed by amateur athletes.

Startup(s) to watch

Runnin’City

Have you ever dreamed to get localised audio-guided cultural runs and walks of the City of London? 

Runnin’City is a leading sports tourism application, designed for those who want to take a bit of time out of their busy schedule to discover unknown cities.

The app offers a new vision of running – one based on discovery and sightseeing and provides the user with all the usual data, such as average speed, total distance and calories burnt.

Its focus however is on the enjoyment of the Smart Run, sightseeing routes of 5, 10 and 15 kilometres that provides an audio guided tour (powered by GPS) through a city. 

The product gives runners (or walkers) the pleasure of exploration and discovery via 30 second descriptions on sights, monuments, and even the instructions that guides from one point of interest to the next.

AiSCOUT

AiSCOUT is a new and exciting AI based platform that Professional Football Clubs & Football Associations are utilising to find and trial amateur players.

Now everyone in the world can engage with, learn from, trial for, receive feedback from, and get scouted by Professional Football Clubs & FAs all over the world.

Photo of Jean Baptiste Roy
Photo of Jean Baptiste Roy
Logo of Asia Sports Tech
Logo of Asia Sports Tech

Iris CórdobaGeneral Manager of Global Sports Innovation Center

Tech trend

I think 2020 had enhanced the importance of physical activity and consequently, of sports practice itself, along with the necessity of facilitating access to latest the technology not only elite athletes, but to everyone who wants to practice sports.

In this sense, I would pay attention in 2021 to 5G, as this technology allows people to stay connected better in real time and exercise wherever they are whenever they want, staying always connected to their communities.

Remote coaching, performance analysis, athlete health: 5G has the potential to democratize access to knowledge, collect data faster, predict injuries, and straighten communities, among other implementations.

Startup(s) to watch 

BKOOL

They are a global leader in sports simulation technology. Its innovative indoor cycling platform offers a completely immersive experience with video, map and game-style 3D views.

Users can ride any route in the world, join events, race the velodrome, or take a fitness class – all from the comfort of home.

BKOOL’s community includes athletes from +120 countries, including 4-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome and some of the top-ranked cycling teams.

Their software is compatible with most indoor trainers and smart bikes, and is available for most computer and mobile operating systems.

Photo of Iris Cordoba
Photo of Iris Cordoba
Logo for Global Sport Innovation Centre
Logo for Global Sport Innovation Center

Federico Smanio, CEO of Wylab

Tech trend

One of the main trends the Pandemic has accelerated is the urge to be fit, pursue wellbeing and health through physical activities.

The new element is the possibility to perform almost any kind of sports virtually at home or wherever you are: now it’s easy to search and subscribe to activities, exercise and share the experience with like-minded peers.

From a sports company standpoint, it has become crucial to offer easy access to services, provide seamless experiences, allow users to search, choose, purchase and practice wherever they are. In my opinion, this new approach to sport will perfectly complement the more traditional physical onsite experience at gyms or sports centres and events.

Startup(s) to watch

Sportclubby

Thiis the first booking app for sports and wellness, a powerful management tool for clubs and social platform for end users.

The company’s vision is to grow the practice of sport thanks to a platform that simplifies accessibility to activities and clubs, and allows people to access new sports.

Through the app users can search for, find and book activities, organize, invite friends, buy memberships and lessons, pay through the app and share achievements and experience with their community.

Sportclubby has been active since 2018, now serving 800 clubs and is used by almost 500,000 Italians. It has been the most downloaded sports app on Apple Store in Italy during Q2 2020.

Photo of Federico Smanio
Photo of Federico Smanio
Logo of Wylab
Logo of Wylab

Sebastian Rubio, Founder & CEO of ZSports Lab 

Tech trend

In Latin America, and more specifically in ZSports Lab region of action (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile) – that will still face the effects of the pandemic and lockdowns in the medium term – the sole fact of having “home and virtual” training will make physical activity more democratic. 

Due to time (work & traffic) and economic (gym affordability) restrictions, a huge part of the population was not able to exercise on a regular basis.

Class digitalization -content generation & curation, live streaming technology, amongst others – has allowed lots of new comers into fitness, increasing the size of the market and shaping a blended model when back to normal.   

Startup(s) to watch

Cataclysm Academy 

Within our same market, several e-sports startups emerged. In our first competition, almost 15% of the more than 120 submissions, belonged to this vertical. One of the winners of our first cohort, Cataclysm Academy, is already gaining important traction – even its recent launch – as its main target are the parents of teenagers and millennial gamers. 

With a very complete syllabus offering – with both online & offline training – UX oriented virtual classroom and experienced teachers excelling at their competitive teams, their model could escalate not only in the Peruvian market, but the whole region.  

Photo of Sebastian Rubio
Photo of Sebastian Rubio
Logo of ZSports Lab
Logo of ZSports Lab

Alex Zurita

Head of Sport Tech Hub
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