Ad giant Dentsu, SF-based Scrum Ventures jointly set up global sports-tech accelerator

Ad giant Dentsu, SF-based Scrum Ventures jointly set up global sports-tech accelerator

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(L to R) Fumihiko Nakajima (Program Owner of Sports Tech Tokyo / Dentsu CDC) and Takuya Miyata (CEO of Scrum Ventures)

See the original story in Japanese.

Japanese ad giant Dentsu (TSE:4324) and the San Francisco-based VC firm Scrum Ventures last month jointly held an explanatory meeting about Sports Tech Tokyo, the acceleration program focusing on sports tech. With 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics approaching, there seems to be the best momentum for sports tech to attract global attention.


At the beginning of the event, Japanese footballer Keisuke Honda, also known as an investor for startups, provided a comment.

The operation term of this acceleration program’s 1st batch is planned to be about one year, beginning in January of 2019. It is relatively longer than typical acceleration programs and consists of a six-month business starting round and a six-month activation round. This program commits not only to service / business development but also to establishment of business for participating teams.

The system allows Play (eSports or fantasy sports), Watch (arena / stadium solution) and Support (player support technology) to apply this program, covering a wide range of services. 150 teams will be chosen from among applicant startups gathered from around the world next February, and a kick-off conference will be held in Tokyo during March of 2019.

Partial list of Sports Tech Tokyo mentors

After next April, Sports Tech Tokyo will choose some 10 to 20 finalists and plans to provide mentoring to them based in Japan and San Francisco. The program will line up 100 famous Mentors including Daniel Brusilovsky (technology lead of U.S. basketball team), Kai Bond (investor of Comcast Ventures) and Ryan Hoover (founder of Product Hunt / investor of Weekend Fund).

Sponsored companies of Sports Tech Tokyo

Sports Tech Tokyo plans to have a world Demo Day in San Francisco, as the conclusion of business development round in July of 2019. To increase appearance opportunities of participating startups, the program will hold pop-up events within tech conferences in Japan during October of 2019. It has acquired about 20 supporters / sponsorships including sports-related company or media.

Takayuki Hioki (Sports Marketing Japan) introduced sports business trends around the world. He also spoke on the evolution of sports business.
Takeshi Okada (ex-Manager of the Japanese national football team, right) and Kojiro Kurotobi (CEO of Sportsbull, left), along with Hiromu Nishiuchi (author of ‘Statistics is the most powerful knowledge,’ in center) delved into the potentials of sports tech.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy