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Funding Available for Early-Stage, Sport-Focused Startups

Program partners include adidas, GSVS and Coalition Venture Studio
September 1, 2021

Logos for Global Sport Institute, adidas, GSVS, and Coalition Venture Studio

Tempe, Ariz. (Sept. 2, 2021) - The Global Sport Institute and the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University are accepting applications for the 5th cohort of their Global Sport Venture Challenge. Applications are open Sept. 3 through Oct. 3, 2021. The Global Sport Venture Challenge is part of ASU’s broader Venture Devils program which aims to engage, mentor and fund founders who are actively working toward problem-solution and product-market fit.

This sport-focused venture challenge offers early-stage startups the resources needed to successfully launch and scale their products and/or services. In addition to the mentorship provided through ASU’s Venture Devils program, support will be provided by long-time program partner, adidas, as well as resources from newly announced partners – the Global Sports Venture Studio (GSVS) and Coalition Venture Studio. 

“Entrepreneurship continues to be a strong pathway for progress, and the more new ideas we can channel towards sport, the stronger ecosystem will become.” said Kenneth L. Shropshire, CEO of the Global Sport Institute and adidas distinguished professor of global sport. “We’re proud to provide these roadmaps and opportunities for empowerment and innovation. The continued support from adidas and commitments from our new partners bring deeper diversity and sustainability to these efforts.” 

The winner(s) will receive up to $30,000 in funding from the Global Sport Institute and gain mentorship & access to resources through the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute. adidas will offer the winner(s) prizes and a virtual or physical trip to their Portland campus to meet with subject matter experts. Other program benefits include mentorship and coaching from the GSVS and the Coalition Venture Studio executives and networks. 

“Our Global Sport Venture Challenge is unlike any other program in this space.” said Global Sport Institute Associate Director of Innovation Programs, Jeff Kunowski. “In addition to the non-dilutive funding provided through the competition, we provide access to industry-specific experts, critical feedback and market exposure which can propel an early-stage venture to new heights.”

All finalists will also have access to a virtual workshop focused on brand development provided by Global Sports Venture Studio, a platform that brings together the world’s leading sports organizations to collaborate with cutting edge startups and bring the future of the fan and athlete experience to life. 

The Global Sport Venture Challenge also aims to empower diverse founders through its partnership with the Coalition Venture Studio.

“We are excited to bring our powerful networks and expertise from the Coalition Venture Studio to the Global Sports Venture Challenge winners,” said Davyeon Ross, EIR of the Coalition Venture Studio, “Through our partnership, we will be surfacing a diverse set of founders from our database to the GSVC to ensure the finalists have diverse representation. We look forward to continuing to expand our partnership with ASU in the coming year ahead.” 

Executives from ASU, adidas, GSVS & Coalition will be evaluating the submissions and will help select the winner(s) of the venture challenge. The Global Sport Venture Challenge is focused but not limited to startups focused on human performance, sustainability, social impact, fan engagement, physical and mental health and wellness, fitness, esports and sports betting. 

Applicants do not need to be affiliated with Arizona State University to apply. This program is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs with less than $50,000 in external funding raised. In order to be eligible for this competition, founders must first apply to Venture Devils. The call for applications will open Sept. 1, 2021 and close on Oct. 3 2021, and will culminate with a hybrid virtual/live pitch competition in early December 2021 at ASU Demo Day. Those interested in applying can learn more about this opportunity here: https://entrepreneurship.asu.edu/launch/venture-devils


About Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University
The Global Sport Institute is where diverse disciplines converge to thoughtfully examine critical issues impacting sport. As a cross-disciplinary enterprise, the institute's efforts are integrated throughout the entire university — from engineering to sociology, to the athletic department and beyond — rather than within a single concentration. With an emphasis on expanding research, sharing knowledge, supporting innovation and advancing education, the institute's mission is to use sport to create positive change throughout the world. Through its partnership with the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute, the Institute offers start-ups access to an extensive array of curriculum, workshops, advisors, funding and other university resources. Follow the Institute on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. More information at: https://globalsport.asu.edu/ 

About the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University 
The J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute serves as a premiere connecting and collaborating conduit across Arizona State University, the greater Phoenix community, nationwide and throughout the world. The Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute helps propel entrepreneurial aspirations by way of opportunities to explore, share, test and advance ideas. As a central source of information, resources and people, engaging with the Edson E+I Institute is to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, engage with global and local events and communities, and launch an idea through mentoring, funding, spaces and commercialization. Follow Edson E+I on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. More information at: http://entrepreneurship.asu.edu

About GSVS and Coalition Venture Studio
The Global Sports Venture Studio brings together leaders from the world’s leading sports organizations to engage with the sports innovation ecosystem. Our partners–including Angel City FC, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fox Sports, LAFC, Levy Restaurants, the Los Angeles Dodgers, UEFA, the USTA, and Verizon–are actively working together to drive growth in the sports industry by identity, develop, and deploy new athlete and fan-focused innovations through pilots, investments, and the development of new products, services, and technologies. For more information, please visit https://www.globalsportsventurestudio.com/ and follow us on Twitter @globalsportsvs.

The Coalition Venture Studio is an ongoing initiative designed to support Black founders with expertise, resources, funding, connections, and education. Our partners-including IPG, Los Angeles Dodgers, Silicon Valley Bank, Gingerbread Capital, and more-are actively working together to create a more equitable startup ecosystem by providing Black startup founders with access to venture capital, creative capital, and network of corporate partners and clients. For more information, please visit https://www.coalitionventurestudio.com/


Media Contact
Lindsay Hansen
LDH Consulting