GSIC powered by Microsoft and Arizona State University announce collaboration

GSIC and two institutes at ASU join forces to create international connections based in innovation, entrepreneurship and sport.

The Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft (GSIC) has signed a collaboration agreement with the Global Sport Institute (GSI) and the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute (Edson E+I) at Arizona State University. This agreement creates a global connection with the goal of enhancing knowledge sharing, developing activities that will foster sports startups in the U.S., and aggregate each entities’ individual value to their ecosystems.

The GSIC aims to provide the expertise that it has been acquiring in the sector for the past 5 years working with leading sports entities, big tech companies and best innovative startups on the market. With a global network of over 200 members in 35 different countries, and over a 100 best practices reducing the gap between startups and big sports entities, the GSIC’s main goal in this collaboration is to add this value to entrepreneurs in the state of Arizona and throughout the United States.

We understand that the USA is one of the most important markets in the sports industry, both sports and technology wise. Ten percent of our members’ network is composed by American startups that we are already helping to grow on the international market. It is very important for us to create strategic alliances with startups accelerators and programs such as the one from Arizona State University because we are sure that together we will help the industry to grow faster in digital transformation processes.” says Iris Cordoba, General Manager of the GSIC.

ASU has topped U.S. News & World Report’s “Most Innovative Schools” list since the inception of the category in 2016. ASU again placed ahead of MIT and Stanford and on the list, based on a survey of peers.

“There are so many ways to work in sport,” says Kenneth L. Shropshire, adidas Distinguished Professor of Global Sport and CEO of the Global Sport Institute. “From athletes navigating their post-playing journey, researchers and scientists bringing innovative sports products to the market, to those creating new digital platforms, sport and entrepreneurship together have proven to be one of the most exciting ways we’re seeing sport make a positive impact. We look forward to growing that impact globally with this unique collaboration.”

The universal language of sport coupled with the universal power of entrepreneurship is a winning combination,” says Ji Mi Choi, Vice President of Knowledge Enterprise and Founding Executive Director of the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at ASU. “The same skills that allow for excellence on a field or on a court – talent, teamwork and an all out effort – are hallmarks of entrepreneurship as well. We believe that talent and an entrepreneurial drive is in everyone and this collaboration helps us continue to drive the democratization of access to best in class resources and support for innovation.”

The three entities plan to invite, promote and facilitate presence and business in Arizona as a hub of international technology-based startups related to the sports industry. All the startups who engage with this new collaborative programming will receive the support of each entity for internationalization processes and connections in the international sports industry through startup competitions, incubation and acceleration programs, hackathons, workshops, webinars, masterclasses and other opportunities to be announced. 

The first synergized activity of the partnership will be centered on the recently announced Sun Devil Athletics Venture Challenge. The SDA Venture Challenge will help establish new and innovative sport concepts that can be launched, piloted and scaled at Arizona State University’s various sport facilities. This program will provide a launchpad for aspiring entrepreneurs around the globe while keeping Sun Devil Athletics at the forefront of new sport-related innovation. The call for applications is open until March 1st and will culminate with a virtual pitch competition in April 2021 at ASU Demo Day.


About GSIC

Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft  (GSIC) is a business cluster powered by Microsoft Sport Team that gathers all kind of sports entities (clubs, federation, associations), institutions, tech-companies (from start-ups to enterprises), research organizations, investors and key figures of sport industry to improve its value chain. To do so we focus our activities and services on 6 main points: entrepreneurship, networking, applied research, showcase, Microsoft Partners Solutions and digital transformation advisory services. More than 340 companies from 40 different countries have already received support from the GSIC through different activities, as well as from their ambassadors and network of professionals of the sports industry.

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About the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University

The Global Sport Institute is where diverse disciplines converge to thoughtfully examine critical issues impacting sport. As a cross-disciplinary enterprise, the institute’s efforts are integrated throughout the entire university — from engineering to sociology, to the athletic department and beyond — rather than within a single concentration. With an emphasis on expanding research, sharing knowledge, supporting innovation and advancing education, the institute’s mission is to use sport to create positive change throughout the world. Through its partnership with the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute, the Institute offers start-ups access to an extensive array of curriculum, workshops, advisors, funding and other university resources. Follow the Institute on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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