Tennis Australia (TA) has unveiled its latest selection of promising startups set to join the 'AO Startups' incubator, marking a significant step forward in the organization's innovation program. The mid-year intake for 2023 includes seven diverse companies that showcase the intersection of sports and technology. Notable additions to the incubator include Raven, an artificial intelligence (AI) powered incident management platform, PAM, specialising in event management solutions, and Circular, a developer of smart rings.
Among the chosen startups, Straffr stands out as a pioneer in fitness equipment innovation, while Stringr offers a unique racquet hiring service. DVOX, an audio streaming specialist, and Trickshot, a 3D data-driven platform, complete the lineup, ensuring a blend of technologies that promise to transform various facets of sports and entertainment.
The 'AO Startups' initiative is a pivotal component of TA's overarching innovation strategy. This latest cohort introduction follows the inauguration of the Wildcard Ventures fund and the establishment of a multi-year collaboration with the Techstars accelerator. These initiatives underline Tennis Australia's commitment to fostering technological advancements within the sports industry.
In the preceding months, TA welcomed seven other startups into the program, inviting them to showcase their innovations at the esteemed Australian Open event. Dr. Machar Reid, Head of Innovation at Tennis Australia, expressed excitement about the quality and diversity of startups vying to be part of the AO Startups journey. He emphasised that the newly selected cohort holds the potential to revolutionise player performance, event operations, and the fan experience, both in-stadium and through broadcasting.
Dr. Reid stated, "Our new cohort will drive innovation across several different sports and entertainment verticals including player performance, event operations, and the fan experience in-stadium and on broadcast. The international spread of the seven successful companies aligns with our ambition to find the best ideas – no matter the location – and to leverage them to continually enhance the AO experience and world sport."
The next stage for these startups involves showcasing their breakthrough solutions during the Australian tennis summer in 2024. As they converge to present their advancements, the sports world eagerly anticipates the transformative impacts that these innovative technologies will bring to the Australian Open and beyond.