Sport, innovation, creativity, business ideas and new opportunities for young startup founders. The Hype Global Sport Innovation Competition is all this and more. On May 31st the university hosted the European final of the international competition run by the HYPE Foundation, which brings together entrepreneurs from around the world who are using sport as a driver of innovation. In this first edition of the competition, Hype offered innovators from 46 countries the opportunity to showcase their business ideas. These range from apps for athletes, trainers and fans to wearable technology, sports food, and television broadcast infrastructure. The market for innovation in sport has a global turnover estimated at around 250 billion dollars, and good potential for growth.
In Trento 10 startups competed from Europe and Japan (as there were no regional finals in Asia) chosen from the 123 entries. In an enjoyable X-factor atmosphere, the challenge was won by Nothingbutnet, a Spanish startup with a multidisciplinary team, who will participate in the world finals in Rio on August 2, alongside the Olympics.
The Hype competition joins the other sports initiatives promoted by the University: UniSport, the network of university sports services and facilities; the TOPSport program; and major events such as the Trentino 2013 winter Universiade and the international conference “Sport as a driver for innovation”.
“For years the University of Trento has been committed to promoting sport not only for its health and wellness benefits and in terms of prestigious results in competitive sport, but also and especially as a key element in the socio-economic development of a region such as Trentino.” So says the University’s Pro-rector for Sport Development Paolo Bouquet, who adds, “Now the goal is to develop an overall long-term strategy in which sport plays a key role in promoting research and creating opportunities for innovative entrepreneurship. A virtuous circle in which universities, research centers, local businesses, national and international companies, sports federations and other economic actors can build an ecosystem based on Trentino’s natural vocation for sporting activities and for tourism and hospitality.”
Before the HYPE regional finals, on 31 May, the pre-event Start-Up Lab Demo Day was held, a cross-disciplinary competition promoted by the University of Trento to encourage students’ talent, attitude to innovation, and creativity. 130 students from 32 countries were involved, presenting 19 startup projects (not necessarily linked to sport). The winners were the team FOD (Friends Of Deaf), who get to compete in the global student innovation competition Virginia Tech KnowledgeWorks, which is held every year in Virginia (USA).