Startup Competition Guide


Startup competitions seeking sports tech companies

They include Sports Tank, 1st and Future, Leaders Tech Startup Competition and Sports Tech World Cup

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
June 14, 2018
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If you're a startup seeking opportunities to get funded, educated or connected, startup competitions are a great resource.

Vator has been holding its own competitions, using VatorX, to find and filter for the best startups. We've had some very successful and notable winners in the past that have gone on to raise big funding rounds including Thumbtack, DogVacay, Pokitdok, Grovo, Udemy and Apartment List, to name a few.

Anyone can list their program as VatorX is one of the most comprehensive listing guides to startup competitions, challenges, accelerators and programs. Click here to list your program!

As part of our weekly series, we'll look at top competitions with big cash prizes, as well as competitions that have teed up the most promising startups, to finding popular startup competitions you need to know about. 

Here are some of the startup competitions that are focused on sports tech companies:


 2018 Sports Technology Awards

Description: "Adding a trophy to the cabinet is a great feeling but success at the Sports Technology Awards translates into something far more meaningful commercially. Companies which have been finalists or winners, repeatedly tell us that this has given them tangible business returns; these span reduced sales cycles, elevated customer opportunities, increased inbound investment and great employee motivation."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: Ordnance Survey, Levuro AG, Football Whispers


Description: "The sports industry is booming with new technology and new ideas every day. This is the opportunity to present your company to our group of investors at Sports Tank. Sports Tank is the worlds #1 sports specific pitch event, providing sports-related startup companies the opportunity to pitch to strategic investors."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: Physmodo, Fanwide


Description: "The NFL’s official pitch competition, advancing sports technology and the game of football."

Prize: The winning team from each of the three themes will receive a $50,000 check from the NFL and two tickets to Super Bowl LII.

Previous winners: GoRout, Mobile Virtual Player, Windpact


Description: "The Leaders Sport Business Summit is the home of new ideas in sport and plays a key role in driving innovation and championing new talent across the industry. At this year’s Summit the next generation of great and disruptive ideas will be identified and celebrated from the world’s technology startup community, and we’ll be helping bring them to life at the ‘Leaders Sports Tech Startup Competition’ in front of a live audience of up to 400 senior industry executives."

Prize: The winning start-up selected by the judges will be given the opportunity to hold meetings with top executives from competition supporters Chelsea FC, Sky Sports and LA Clippers, have access to a series of Sports Tech Accelerator programmes around the world, and be the centre piece of a major sports industry report on sports technology.

Previous winners: DiscountIF


Description: "Technologies impacting the before, during, and after in the sports and athletics sector. Whether geared towards novices or elite professionals, innovations in this field include (but are not limited to) the way we experience, prepare for, and participate in sports and outdoor recreation by using hardware or software applications focused on data-centric intelligence, measurement, and other analytical forms."

Prize: The winning prizes include two (2) Interactive badges for the 2019 SXSW Interactive event, various SXSW Accelerator sponsor gifts and, most importantly, the opportunity to receive exposure to the SXSW audience looking out for the latest in cutting-edge technology. Additional prizes will be announced as the event date approaches.

Previous winners: DashTag, KidzToPros, Nix, Tellyo, UPGRADED


Description: "The Startup Competition & Trade Show provides an opportunity for selected startups and small companies to showcase their innovations in the fields of sports-related technologies, products, and services. This year, startups and small companies will be selected by the SSAC committee to present their products and/or services to potential customers, business partners, investors, and employees."

Prize: The winner of each competition track, as determined by our panel of judges, will be awarded a $5,000 cash prize.

Previous winners: Fansure, PlayersVote, MentalRep, ShotTracker


Description: "BT has long recognised that the biggest and brightest of ideas can often come from relatively small beginnings.

We’ve seen how these concepts, once developed and refined, can go on to help transform the way people work or live their lives.

And that’s why, along with our partner TechHub, we have established the BT Infinity Lab programme.

It’s a shining star of our open innovation philosophy, providing a front door for BT’s engagement with entrepreneurs and the start-up community - across the UK and beyond."


  • Six months of monitoring and support from BT in areas such as technology, product, legal and marketing to develop technical and commercial strategy.
  • A six-month residential or flexible membership to TechHubs’s global entrepreneur community and events.
  • The opportunity to showcase their products/services in BT’s dedicated Infinity Lab space in London, and at our Innovation Centre at Adastral Park. This facility is visited by more than 200 CXOs of FTSE leading companies every year.
  • Access to BT’s marketing reach to develop and test products and services with BT’s customer base.  

Previous winners: Sceenic


Description: "HYPE Sports Innovation, a global platform that connects and invests in sports innovation, has partnered with SPALDING to advance and promote the development of sports-specific innovations."

Prize: The winner will receive $10,000 and a visit to SPALDING headquarters to pitch to the R&D team.

In addition, the top 3 winners will get free 6 months membership at Microsoft Global Sports Innovation center.

Previous winners: FanWide

Sport Business Day

Description: "Sports Tech World Cup is a new startup competition, modeled on soccer’s World Cup, for early-stage sports technology companies. Sport eXperience is a partner of the STWC."

Prize: Winner of the Sport eXperience edition receives a cheque of € 3.500,- and the runner-up € 1.500

Previous winners: None specified 

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