A St. Louis, Missouri sports startup accelerator is making its move into North Texas.
Stadia Ventures chooses up to five startups for each immersive business development program providing the chosen companies with a cash investment up to $100,000. Per Stadia Ventures, the program includes equity investment, intensive mentoring, and access to its network of leading sports, esports, media, entertainment, and global brands. The program runs 14 weeks twice a year.
“The esports industry is still in its infancy and the ability to launch an esports accelerator and invest in early stage companies creates a unique opportunity.”
The inaugural Frisco class in fall 2018 represents the sports accelerator program’s first ever esports track.
“The esports industry is still in its infancy and the ability to launch an esports accelerator and invest in early stage companies creates a unique opportunity. We are excited to immerse our startups in this growing and global ecosystem,” said Tim Hayden, managing director of Stadia Ventures, in a statement.
Stadia Ventures and entrepreneurs participating in its program made a visit to Frisco last summer, according to The Dallas Morning News.
“It’s a very family-friendly, sports driven, innovation driven kind of town. We’ve found religion down here,” Hayden told the Morning News about Frisco at the time.
According to Newzoo’s 2018 Global Esports Market Report, the global esports economy will grow to $905.6 million this year representing a 39 percent year-over-year increase and brands will spend $694 million on esports advertising, sponsorship, and media rights, a 48 percent increase over 2017. Newzoo estimates global esports enthusiasts will reach 165 million in 2018, and it also reported that esports content made up 11 percent of all viewership hours on Amazon’s Twitch and YouTube Gaming in the first quarter of 2018, generating a combined 2.4 billion viewing hours on the video platforms.
APPLICATIONS FOR STADIA’S FIRST FRISCO CLASS OPEN IN MAY
Stadia Ventures is hosting two events in Frisco along with the program including a demo day in August for its spring 2018 cohort to celebrate those startups and at the same time hosting a pitch day for its fall 2018 finalists in front of a judging panel of more than 100 current and former senior sports business leaders from around the world. The program’s past mentors, advisors, and attendees represent brands such as Adidas, Under Armour, Twitch, Blue Star Sports, and Nike as well as professional sports leagues and teams.
“As we researched viable options for a focused accelerator it was clear that Stadia’s program and pedigree was the global leader.”
The program fits LaunchPad City’s vision which has always included a sports and esports theme said Nahid Giga, co-founder of LaunchPad City.
“As we researched viable options for a focused accelerator it was clear that Stadia’s program and pedigree was the global leader,” Giga said. “We are excited to partner with Stadia and launch the esports accelerator in Frisco this fall.”
Stadia Ventures and LaunchPad City are hosting information sessions on the upcoming accelerator program next month including May 14 in Frisco, May 15 in Dallas at the new Mavs Gaming facility in Deep Ellum, and May 16 in Austin. Applications for the first Frisco accelerator class open in May.