Last Friday (Jan. 17), HYPE SPIN Accelerator Taiwan graduated 13 sports tech startups, 6 from Taiwan and 7 from overseas, on its third demo day.
Based in Israel, HYPE Sports Innovation is a global network of accelerators focusing on sports innovation. With firm support from the sports administration of the Ministry of Education, it kicked off the first accelerator program in Taiwan and Asia, following the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei, and has been working with IAPS (Center of Industry Accelerator and Patent Strategy), a local startup accelerator owned by National Chiao-Tung University, to execute it ever since.
Zvika Popper, COO of HYPE, told Business Next that before bringing their accelerator to the island, his team had been considering expanding to Asia, which he described as a “relatively new market” for sports tech companies. It hoped to set up a new base in a country where sports tech is at its early stage of development — to pick the “low-hanging fruit.”
Taiwan emerged to be one of the best options. With abundant resources for startups and high-quality talent, it’s an ideal location for HYPE to launch its first Asian accelerator and expand its regional network — possibly to Southeast Asia, an area with which Taiwan has strong connection, said Mr. Popper.
Thanks to the business culture in Taiwan, which is relatively similar to that in the Western world, the process has been painless, according to Mr. Popper. He also gave credit to IAPS for the well-executed project, saying that they’re the most committed partner among all in their ecosystem.
Meet the startups
Selected from over 150 applicants, the 13 teams in this batch had participated in a three-month training program created by HYPE later last year. It was concluded with the demo day, in which they were given the opportunity to pitch to a jury of industry experts and investors.
The results of the competition were revealed on the same day: DP Smart Technology (Taiwan) and Footbot (Russia) won themselves a booth in HYPE’s signature startup exhibition, and Stryde (Hong Kong) and Red Dot Drone (Japan) a place in IAPS’s accelerator program.
It’s a batch with the most diversity among the three it has recruited for the past one year, said the organizing team. More than half of the cohort hails from a foreign country. Below is the complete list:
- DP Smart Technology (Taiwan): panoramic camera named Rogy capable of capturing immersive content.
- Pickups (Taiwan): social app that matches amateur basketball players.
- Strike (Taiwan): IoT-powered, small baseball to help players improve their performance and techniques.
- Quick hitter (Taiwan): AI-powered system that optimizes how basketball players shoot.
- Whiizu (Taiwan): indoor training system for professional cyclists.
- Deepunch (Taiwan): lightweight massge gun that relieves muscle pains.
- Fanlytiks (India): one-stop plaform that analyzes fan behaviors on social media and provides insights for sports clubs and brands.
- Gameconomy (Malaysia): virtual trading platform for game developers.
- Komodo Monitr (New Zealand): athlete development platform for coaches working with amateur athletes.
- Stryde (Hong Kong): gamified fitness platform that stimulates users to reach their goals via betting.
- Footbot (Russia): robotic training system for football players, amateur or professional.
- Red Dot Drone (Japan): automatic aerial filming technology for sports events.
- Freelates (Israel): Pilates training program that activates unused spaces.
As more and more international startups come to Taiwan to join the program, this one-year-old accelerator expects to grow its presence globally.