Scrum Ventures and Dentsu Announce Global Sports Tech Accelerator Program

SPORTS TECH TOKYO Seeks Startups to Create the Next Generation of Sports Technology

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – OCTOBER 1, 2018 Scrum Ventures, a US-based venture capital firm with extensive experience and networks in Silicon Valley and Japan, and Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo:4324), one of the world’s largest advertising brands, today announced SPORTS TECH TOKYO, a global mentor-driven accelerator program aimed at startups from around the world developing cutting-edge sports technology.

Taking place in Japan and San Francisco, the one year program will provide startups mentorship opportunities with global sports leaders, as well as introductions to entrepreneurs, investors and major sports brands across the global networks of Dentsu, Scrum and other sponsoring partners. Participants will also receive networking and pitching opportunities with a Sports Advisory Board, consisting of players and specialists from a variety of sports organizations and professional leagues and teams from Japan and the U.S.

“SPORTS TECH TOKYO is a unique accelerator program made possible by the collaboration of Dentsu, where we have supported sports for many years, and Scrum Ventures, a firm experienced working with startups in the U.S.,” said Fumihiko Nakajima, senior director, business development of Dentsu. “Through sports technology, this program will bring together people, organizations, ideas, and technologies to create exciting opportunities. I look forward to the continued growth and revitalization of the sports industry.”

The program involves the initial selection of up to 150 companies who have the opportunity to gain access to exclusive events and programing in the US and Japan. Companies can then vie to be one of 10-20 finalists chosen to participate in a three-month intensive virtual mentorship program which culminates in an Investor Demo Day and World Showcasing Day, where finalists can present the new technologies and partnerships developed during the program.

The sports tech market is rapidly growing and is one of the hottest investment fields. Scrum Ventures has been investing in sports and health industries, including wearable devices, sensors, and VR technology that are changing the way we play and watch sports,” said Tak Miyata, founder, general partner of Scrum Ventures. “Together with Dentsu, SPORTS TECH TOKYO will foster innovation by matching Japanese companies with the best and brightest startups from all over the world.

Venture investments in sports startups reached $1.5 billion in 2017, according to Deloitte, up from an estimated $1B in 2015.  In 2017, the North American sports market was $69.3B, and it is predicted to grow to $78.5B by 2021. In Japan, sports initiatives are taking center stage, with the government aiming to grow the market from 5.5 trillion yen in 2015 to 15.2 trillion yen by 2025.  

In addition to networking, the program will provide participants a place for testing and validating participants’ products and services via Scrum Studios, a new initiative recently launched by Scrum Ventures to help startups grow new businesses. Other current Scrum Studio projects include one with Panasonic and another with Nintendo. Read more here: https://scrum.vc/studio/

SPORTS TECH TOKYO is seeking applications from startups focused on a wide range of sports related technologies including cutting edge tech for the athletes who play sports, the fans who watch sports, as well as new technologies that can enhance the stadium experience. Applications open at 8:00, October 2nd, 2018 and close at 23:59, January 7th, 2019 in Pacific Time, and the program kicks off in March, 2019. To apply, please visit: SPORTS TECH TOKYO