The sports technology market has been growing significantly for several years. More and more Belgian companies are active in this market segment in technological fields as varied as data analysis for coaching assistance, sports betting and security. Supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in this high added value sector is therefore crucial and constitutes a real challenge for Belgium.
It is in this perspective that SportsTech Belgium was created: a programme launched on the initiative of Agoria, the Royal Belgian Football Union and Wallifornia, aimed at federating and supporting stakeholders at the crossroads of technology and sport and placing Belgium at the forefront of this booming ecosystem.
“Too many Belgian start-ups active in the world of sport have to go abroad to find financial and structural support at international level in order to develop their activities. SportsTech Belgium aims to become the connection point between the world of business and sports organisations, fostering entrepreneurial initiatives and positioning sports technology in the spotlight on the world stage”, commented Nicolas Bourdon, President of the Agoria Sports & Entertainment Technology Club and CMO of EVS.
A top summit
Held on the remarkable site of the Proximus Basecamp, the national centre of the Belgian Football Union in Tubize, the SportsTech Belgium Summit is the spearhead of this new innovation hub in Belgium. It aims to become the new meeting place for all companies and stakeholders who think and breathe sport and technology on a daily basis.
“Talent, physical ability, elite sporting behaviour and a winning mentality remain the basis for great performances in sport. However, if you want to continue to be the best, you can no longer do so without the help of sports technology. In recent years, this industry has become a real game-changer with a limitless range of tools with which to measure and improve our performance”, said Roberto Martinez, the coach of the Red Devils, on the occasion of the summit.
As the first B2B event of this magnitude for SportsTech in Belgium, the SportsTech Belgium Summit brought together more than 60 exhibitors presenting their latest innovations in various fields of sports technology and a series of keynote speeches by prestigious and influential personalities from the sector like Manu Leroy (Marketing Director @RBFA), Jan Stryckers (CEO & co-Founder @Raw Stadia), Kevin Vermeulen (CEO @ProSoccer data), Léa Bayssat (Product Marketing Manager Sports @Facebook) & Rohn Malhotra for the closing conference.
“With this summit, Agoria wishes to highlight the Tubize infrastructure which will become a showcase for sports-related technology companies in general. We lacked this type of structure to allow our companies to showcase their innovations, of which there are many in this field. The objective is also to attract national and international start-ups in order to create a real ecosystem”, said Clarisse Ramakers, Director of Agoria Wallonia.
A 100% SportsTech acceleration programme
In order to foster the growth and expansion of start-ups and scale-ups active in the SportsTech sector, SportsTech Belgium will support 10 promising start-ups through a unique online programme running over the course of two months, from 15 November 2021 to 14 January 2022.
“We have been supporting start-ups specialised in Entertainment for more than 5 years. One of our objectives is to help them discover the lesser-known aspects of this industry, by breaking down the silos within the sector and helping them to validate their product or service. Part of the success of the acceleration programme lies in the ability to connect the right start-up with the right expert or investor at the right time, in a facilitating context", explained Gérôme Vanherf, co-founder of Wallifornia.
The SportsTech Belgium acceleration programme is open to international start-ups developing technologies related to the following topics: “Activity & Performances”, “Fan’s & Content”, “Management & Organisations” and “Smart Places”. In addition to privileged access to a community of investors, it aims to offers participating start-ups sector-specific networking opportunities with high-level international experts and access to unique infrastructures.