Loughborough to play its part in the biggest sports-acceleration network in the world

HYPE Foundation, a global platform that connects and invests in sports innovation, has this week launched its “SPIN Lab”, a global acceleration program focusing on developing innovation in sports.

The program is launching simultaneously at four leading sports universities, spread over three continents, creating the biggest sports-acceleration network in the world. Representatives from partner universities and the HYPE Foundation board celebrated the launch with a meeting at FC Barcelona’s iconic Camp Nou earlier this week, with recruitment commencing in earnest ahead of a January 2018 start date for the first four month accelerator programme.

One of the four partner institutions is Loughborough University London, activated through the Institute for Sport Business, a fitting contributor given Loughborough's status as the world’s best sports university, according to the QS higher education league table.

The ‘SPIN Lab’ is a significant milestone in HYPE’s mission to impact people's lives through the power of sports and innovation. The accelerators will recruit, discover, nourish and grow innovative sports start-ups, navigating them to address specific market needs and predicted trends. Each accelerator will include up to 12 start-ups from its country and region. One of the four labs will also conduct a virtual program, enabling start-ups from all over the world to participate.

HYPE Foundation’s Partner and Chief Innovation Officer Dr Ilan Hadar noted:

“The SPIN Lab initiative is a perfect complement with HYPE’s activities in the sports innovation space. By teaming up with top partners, the program will get the highest level of local and global mentoring. We are committed to creating a go-to program for entrepreneurs, looking to fulfil their dreams in the sports technology business.”

Professor James Skinner, Director of the Institute for Sport Business at Loughborough University London, added:

“I’m excited to launch the SPIN Lab and partner with the HYPE Foundation. This is a powerful program that takes sports start-ups to the next level, and as a university that proved to be at the forefront of sports management studies, we are certain this collaboration will be fruitful and impactful from both an academic and business standpoint.”

The four leading sports universities involved in the partnership are:

  • Loughborough University London, UK
    (Institute for Sport Business)
  • The University of Queensland, (UQ) Australia
    (Schools of  Human Movement, Nutrition Sciences, Engineering & IT)
  • San Jose State University, California, USA
  • The University of Trento and Trentino Sviluppo, Italy  

In addition, HYPE is raising its SPIN Fund, dedicated to investing in sports start-ups and launching the application for its 2018 “TOP50” program for the most innovative start-ups in the world of sports. Start-ups can register for the SPIN Lab from 1st October 2017.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 17/135

About HYPE Foundation

HYPE Foundation is the largest sports innovation ecosystem with over 26,000 leaders and key decision makers in the field of sports, including sports and tech global brands, academia, investors and start-ups. HYPE is the host for global competitions, teaming up with Google, ASICS, Microsoft, and Sky Sports among others.

In 2017 HYPE Foundation conducted several Sports Innovation (SPIN) Final competitions alongside the UEFA Champions League Final, NFL Draft and the 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade.


Lirone Glikman
VP Partnerships
HYPE Foundation