Startup acceleration program that supports digital transformation processes of the sports industry’ development

3 months of dedicated training and mentoring program with top sports executives, the possibility to access Microsoft technology, a sports network, co-working space, and access to the venture capitals. This acceleration program powered by GSIC will take your startup to the next level!


Our program will provide you with support of more than 200 international companies, sports entities and a growing mentoring network composed by industry professionals.
Sports Business Managing Director at Microsoft Corp.

Sebastian Lancestremere

Senior Executive with 25 years of international experience in the IT Industry at Microsoft and startups in developed and emerging markets in Latin America, Europe and World Wide. Well-rounded Managing Director who has consistently delivered outstanding performance: setting up new business units, growing market share and developing talent, leading innovative and strategic projects for the company and expert in digital transformation. Business leader who focuses on how Information Technology can help organizations take advantage of the Digital Economy while contributing to a better society.

Senior Advisor -Manchester City Football Group / Globant

Javier Martínez

Passionate Sports, Travel-Leisure & Entertainment Senior Executive:
+ 25 years translating passion/epic stories into outstanding business results at World leading Companies such as:
• The Walt Disney Company (VicePresident, 2001 – 2014, in seven different Markets)
• Atletico de Madrid Football Club (Business & Experience Managing Director, 2014-2017).
• Global Sports Innovation Center powered by MICROSOFT (Ambassador/Mentor, 2017-present) .
• MANCHESTER CITY Football Club ( Fan Innovation / Senior Strategic Advisor , 2017-present)
Now, an independent Senior Advisor helping companies CONVERTING emotionally CLIENTS INTO FANS, and Clubs’ FANS INTO loyal CLIENTS!
Javier is also an Inspiring KeyNote Speaker and dynamic Tech Innovation Landscape activist.

CEO of Sports Advisors

Ryan McCumber

Ryan is CEO and Founder of Sports a consultancy and advisory firm focused on enhancing the fan experience through innovation. Ryan is a global sports analytics and tech evangelists having previously led KPMGs Global Sports Analytic practice.  While at KPMG he completed projects such as game scheduling for the NBA, National Basketball League of Australia.  While at KPMG, Ryan also co-founded with Vumero Sport the Sports Analytics World Series, which is an innovation and sports tech conference series currently in six countries with plans to expand to ten countries by 2020.  Ryan is a Global Ambassador helping to organize and promote the Series. supports a portfolio of 5-10 sports tech start-ups from strategy, business development, implementation and investments.  Specifically, Ryan is the EMEA lead for two companies in particular; Solos and LAVA.

Innovation and Global Development at LaLiga

Minerva Santana

Digital Technology Responsable for Real Sociedad de Fútbol

Juan Iraola

In charge of defining and implementing the digital strategy across all the areas and business within the club, with the main goal to be closer to people and fans, improving the processes and business operations and identifying new revenue streams.

MA degree in Industrial Engineering obtained from the University of Navarra. Consultant and project manager during more than 25 years in different sectors as sports, advertising, software development and consultancy, aerospace, machine building, automotive, retail; leading projects mainly focused on ERP, CRM, Business Intelligence, defining and implementing Marketing Online and Digital Transformation Strategies.

New Business & Innovation Manager EMEA at ASICS Corporation

Daniel Dümig

Daniel is working hand in hand with entrepreneurs from all around the world to combine their creative spirit and drive with the scale and expertise of a corporation to grow projects that will move people across the world.

Apart from his work at the ASICS TENKAN-TEN Sports & Well-Being Growth Catalyst where they combine the startup founders’ drive and energy with the expertise, resources and reach of a large global corporation he’s honed his skills working for the some of the best sports lifestyle corporations. In the past decade at VF Corporation, Quiksilver and ASICS he repeatedly led and successfully implemented New Business & Innovation ideas for projects, services and processes.

Developing creative strategies and transforming them into tangible and measurable results comes naturally to Daniel. He achieves this by following one simple rule: “Teamwork makes the dream work!”

General Manager of the Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft

Iris Córdoba

She has developed her professional career linked to enterprise development and the support of SMEs from the public and private side, with special focus on culture sector, Spanish language-related economy, entertainment and sports industry, both in Latam and in Spain. Specializing in project management, networking creation and business development. Since the beginning of 2015, she has launched the Global Sports Innovation Center promoted by Microsoft, a collaborative initiative between the public, private and academic sectors, which aims to promote innovation in the sports industry, creating an ecosystem composed by nearly 200 companies and institutions that generate synergies and value projects in the sector.

Iris actively participates as a speaker, mentor and jury in startup competitions and in events linked to sports and technology on national and international levels such as Sports Analytics World Series, The SPOT, TEKAN TEN by Asics, WFStartcup by GSIC, among the others. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the 10 most influential women in the sports industry according to the ranking published annually by Metadeporte magazine. Likewise, in 2017 she was a candidate to be one of the top 100 women leaders in Spain of the magazine Mujeres y Cía. She is an active member in various forums, such as the CSD woman, the Sports Committee of the Spanish Association of Women Marketing, Soccer in Words from the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library or Engagement de Mujeres y Cía. She is also a member of World Football Summit Advisory Board.

General Manager of Football and Travel

Francisco Calvello

Entrepreneur, businessman, former football player and journalist with a track record of over 16 years in the world of football and 9 in the world of business and sports management, Francisco is an expert in the development of global business with a focus on football and tourism. Working experience in diverse markets and cultures, such as Argentina, Spain, England, Germany, Italy, USA, India, South Africa and Kuwait, among others.

At 25, after having worked as an international football specialist in Argentina’s Diario Olé, he decided to focus on his passion: making ideas come true with a global outlook. In 2011, already residing in Spain and amid a voracious economic crisis, he founded his first company, Astorini Media, to later dedicate heart and soul to the world of football by creating Spocs Center Madrid – the first private training centre in Spain for team-less football professionals, which was attended by more than 150 players from 35 different countries. Since that moment, he has been linked to innovation and the development of global football-related projects.

He is currently in charge of the Football and Travel company, where he helps professional football clubs expand internationally through the development of tourism-sports experiences aimed at fans across the globe.

Holder of Elea Chair of Social Innovation

Vanina Farber

Dr. McGladrey teaches graduate courses in the Athletic Administration program, and undergraduate courses in both sport coaching and sport management. He also serves as the Department’s coordinator for the Sport Coaching minor, and for the Sport Management major. Dr. McGladrey’s professional background includes 14 years as a high school baseball coach, currently coaching at Ellensburg High School. He is an NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, and has worked with both high school and collegiate athletes in the role of strength and conditioning coach. His research interests include teacher/coach knowledge specific to resistance training, and pedagogy specific to the high school weight room.

Associate Professor at University at Pittsburgh

Konstantinos Pelechrinis

Kostas is an Associate Professor at the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Riverside and his research interests include network analysis, data science and applied machine learning with an emphasis on applications in urban informatics and sports analytics. He is a recipient of the prestigious Young Investigator Award from the Army Research Office for his work on heterogeneous networks, while his research is also supported from the National Science Foundation. He has collaborated with professional sports teams.


Co-Founder of Torrent Road Capital & Menorca Millennials

Ricard Garriga

Ricard Garriga, co-founder Torret Road Capital & Menorca Millennials, the first startup Decelerator for Series A global companies│prev. YouNoodle, 22 Barcelona City Council│Inspired at UCBerkeley │Proud Investor of 8fit, Trappit, AragonProject, 3DdigitalVenue. Passionate about start-ups, investment and talent attraction. He has 12 years’ experience in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, starting at La Salle university in Barcelona where he helped raise capital for tech start-ups and spinoffs, then in 22 Barcelona City Council to implement public policies, and subsequently in California as head of strategy and growth in YouNoodle, a Silicon Valley start-up, where he was in charge of open innovation projects for large corporations and talent attraction programmes for 7 countries, then founding the new concept of ”start-up decelerator” MenorcaMillennials which detects global talent in order invest with it’s own funding company, TorretRoad.
To date 2 failed companies, €27m raised by 16 of them and 2 companies acquired.

Business Development Architect

Jesús Serrano

Jesus is a +15 year experienced professional specialized on Customer experience and UI Development Technologies. He is Business Development Architect in Sports and member of UX Worldwide Leaders at Microsoft. He’s frequently required as speaker about UX design & UI development for both national and international events.He has designed and led the Customer experience and Design Teams in many Lighthouse, Tier 1, BMC and Consumer projects across different technologies for some of the most important global companies. He’s absolutely passionate about simplifying the use of technologies and bring them closer to the users. If you have an UX problem, if no one else can help and you find him, maybe you should speak with him

Chief Project Officer

Guillermo Morales

With 15+ years of experience on the technology business, working with banking, energy, telco, industry and public-sector clients, envisioning and defining technology strategies, digital services and solutions to help to realize business value. Joined to Microsoft in 1998, he has worked for the top WW consulting companies and currently working as Solution Architect at Microsoft.

Marketing & Sales professional

María Barberá

What defines me is the motto “Make things happen”. Marketing and Commercial professional with a solid experience in the design of new business & commercial offers, marketing and communication strategies, CRM Planning.

Global Vision | Experience in coordination of local and international teams and projects.

Business Growth | Focus on Projects oriented to results, ROI, market share growth and brand awareness.

Marketing Plans | Integrating all elements in effectives strategies to reach target audience (media, events, promotional campaigns, digital, in-store, PR and CRM) develo- ping outstanding strategies.

New Trends | Activation of new out of the box ideas, blogging, video content, events, e- commence and new technologies.

Experience in several sectors | Retail, TELCOS, Sports, Automotive, Bank, Financial, Consumer goods and Services.

Expertise in developing Worldwide Sports Sponsorships proposals.

Stadium Director at Levante

Luis Cervera

Currently Luis is Director of New Projects and Operations Levante UD SAD; member of the commission “Marketing, financing and federative management” in the Spanish Olympic Committee; member of the Board of Directors of the Sports Managers Association of the Valencian Community; vocal Territorial Board Lift IESE. His previous experience includes the positions of Director of Operations Valencia CF SAD (2015-2017), General Director of Valencia CF SAD (2013-2015), Director-Manager of the Valencia Municipal Sports Foundation (2001 -2013).

Founder - 40+ League / CEO - HERZ Executive Coasching

Adrian Herzkovich

Executive & Reinvention Coach that works with leaders, CEOs, Presidents, Board Members, C-Level Executives, Investors, Founders, and Professionals, to strengthen their Personal Brand, teach them new digital skills, train them on new methodologies to increase their productivity, and explain to them why they must reinvent themselves, and how to do it.
He is also the founder of 40+ League: “We are the first league of leaders, CEOs, C-Level, executives & professionals who are 40+ and want to reinvent ourselves”
As a Senior Media Executive, Adrian counts with over 25 years of corporate experience in international multi-media, sports, esports, entertainment, digital & mobile industries
18 years leading Fox Network Group in different regions of Latin America & Europe. Responsible for building and expanding sports, entertainment, factual & lifestyle channels, as well as online, production, new media, and digital units. Head of key offices being the maximum responsible for the overall operation and P&L. I also served as a Board Member of many strategic JV’s
Strong academic background with two degrees, two masters, and postgraduate studies. I am a “Never Stop Learning” advocate, and I study for 2 hours every single day. By doing this, I gain knowledge and competitiveness that I share with my clients and network

General Manager IT Innovation at Melbourne Cricket Club

Rey Sumaru

An IT professional with over 25 years’ experience in managing Technology and Innovation departments and delivery of Technology projects globally across various environments.Responsible for the Strategic directions, Innovation and day to day operations of the IT & Innovations department and the Smart Stadium Initiative, which includes, a fully Converged Network, Stadium Wide Wi-Fi, IPTV, CCTV, Audio, Video, Broadcasting , Digital Assets and Innovative Technologies. In a past: Senior Director – Global Infrastructure (IT), CSL Biotherapies, Director IT Asia/Pacific, CSL Biotherapies, IT Manager – Sigma Pharmaceuticals

CEO & Co-Founder of Blinkfire

Juan Luis Hortelano

Former co-founder and Director of Plug and Play Spain, where they accelerated and invested in +70 startups during 5 years.With +18 years experience in different Internet companies, before Blinkfire and Plug and Play, Juan Luis was responsible of the internationalization and launch in Spain of different successful projects like Feedburner (bought by Google), Zumodrive (bought by Motorola), Qype (bought by Yelp) or (bought by Wyndham Hotel Group).  He is also a private angel investor in different tech startups and also an active member of the tech ecosystem in Spain, being a regular speaker in tech and internet related events.

Subdirector técnico - Las Naves / Board Advisor - More Than Players Foundation

David Rosa

After more than 15 years working and learning in the sports industry, David believes that he can say there is only one way of progressing: “continue learning” and “do not be afraid to take risks”.
His first contact with the sports industry, was developed as an “athlete”, although his training as an industrial engineer and materials engineer gave me access to lead one of the most important sports biomechanical research groups in the world. David developed most of his activity in supporting of the relationship between science, technology, innovation and the companies of the Sports Industry of our country. As a result of this, it was the Spanish Technology Platform for the sport industry, which finally he ended up directing, with the main mission of developing a strategic agenda for the sports industry.
David worked for more than 6 years as Secretary for the National Committee for the Standardisation of Sport, Equipment and Sporting Facilities (CTN 147), where I could develop a wide range of activities for regulating the national and international markets of the sporting products and equipment.
For 14 years he had the opportunity to work directly with the Superior Council for Sports, developing 7 specific publications on sporting facilities and hundreds of national and international scientific and informative articles about innovation in sporting products and equipment.
On the more academic side, David has led and participated in a multitude of seminars, masters and courses both nationally and internationally in Spanish, European and Latin American Universities.
For 2 years, David was also a CTO at the Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft

Ph.D., CSCS, assistant professor in the Department of Physical Education, School Health, and Movement Studies at Central Washington University.

Brian McGladery

Dr. McGladrey teaches graduate courses in the Athletic Administration program, and undergraduate courses in both sport coaching and sport management. He also serves as the Department’s coordinator for the Sport Coaching minor, and for the Sport Management major. Dr. McGladrey’s professional background includes 14 years as a high school baseball coach, currently coaching at Ellensburg High School. He is an NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, and has worked with both high school and collegiate athletes in the role of strength and conditioning coach. His research interests include teacher/coach knowledge specific to resistance training, and pedagogy specific to the high school weight room.

Chief Executive at Gains Group

Steve Gera

Steve Gera is a former officer in the United States Marine Corps who has gone on to coach and scout in the National Football League, run multiple businesses, and teach at top universities. Steve is the Chief Executive at Gains Group a sports technology agency. He has worked with a number of world-class organizations, such as FC Barcelona, WWE, IMG Academy, TeamSky Cycling, Chelsea Football Club, Saracens Rugby, Army Special Forces, and the United States Marine Corps. He has also advised at the league level in the NBA, Premier League, and Major League Soccer.

Prior to working in industry Steve served as the Head of Innovation for the Cleveland Browns and as an Assistant Coach and Analyst for the San Diego Chargers. He teaches at San Diego State University, Wharton, Universidad Europea de Madrid, and Torrens University Australia. He resides in Los Angeles, California with his family.

Doctor in CC AF and Sports. Professor at Camilo José Cela University. PF and retradapter in Madrid CFF

Blanca Romero

Managing Director at WWP Weirather Wenzel & Partner

Rayde Luis Baez

Born and raised in Dominican Republic, relocated to Barcelona over a decade ago. Rayde is a passionate partnership narrative builder, and steers the operations of the WWP Group in the Iberian Peninsula since 2016, leading the agency work with brands and properties such as Audi, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Red Bull, MotoGP, BMW M, SEAT, TAG Heuer, LaLiga and Santander Private Banking. Trained as an Economist with postgraduate education in Banking & Finance, and Sports Management, prior to his role at WWP oversaw the strategic business of Euroleague Basketball’s digital output and content marketing initiatives, the sponsorship sales and relationships with its partners in a joint creative effort that continuously delivered return on investment.

President and Managing Partner of Embedded Knowledge

J.Eduardo Campos

J. Eduardo is a seasoned strategist who designs sustainable solutions by building bridges across diverse groups. After creating business growth opportunities on four continents through his leadership roles at PwC, Embraer, and Bell Canada, he spent thirteen years at Microsoft, first as a cybersecurity advisor, then leading innovative Microsoft projects at the highest levels of government in the US and abroad. Today, J. Eduardo is realizing his dream of building a better tomorrow by leading his consulting firm, Embedded Knowledge, Inc., to develop value propositions, customize business strategies, and form partnerships that enable organizations and entrepreneurs to design creative solutions for their complex problems.

Director, Digital Projects and Emerging Technology of United Soccer League

Vincent Wiskowski

CEO & Founder at Streetfootballworld

Jürgen Griesbeck

Serial social entrepreneur. Enthusiastic about system change and football (soccer) as a force for social good. With streetfootballworld we gather the best in class social enterprises that promise to increase and/or accelerate impact significantly by integrating football into their local solutions. Now trying to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem and mobilise the football industry to contribute efficiently to sustainably scale the impact.

Managing Director at SD EIBAR

Patricia Rodriguez Barrios

I have been working at PwC more than nine years, last of them as a assurance manager. In 2014, I started working at SD Eibar as a Finance Manager and two years after, in 2016, I assume the role of Managing Director of the Club. During two last years, I have reached an increase in revenues of 85% and the reinforce of the image and notoriety of the SD EIBAR brand in countries like Japan.

Sports Marketing Master Director in Escuela Real Madrid at Universidad Europea

Ricardo García-Viana Brookes

Sports Marketing Master Director in Real Madrid – Universidad Europea School. With a background in tourism and event management, has been working as a lecturer for Universidad Europea for 23 years and directing different master programs for 17 years now. Former professional indoor soccer player.

President & Founder at FanWide

Symon Perriman

Symon Perriman is FanWide’s President and Founder, and leads the company’s overall strategy and development. He is an internationally recognized business leader, industry expert, author, keynote presenter and technology personality, whose content is viewed by millions of technology professionals each year, across digital, print, online and social media. Symon holds numerous patents and contributed to several technical books, along with hundreds of articles and webcasts. He graduated from Duke University with degrees in Computer Science, Economics, and Film & Digital Studies, and also serves as a technical advisor for several startups.

Benefits of startups

The GSIC creates its own acceleration program for technology-based startups with solutions that enhance sports industry. Our Sport Thinkers Hub joins forces with the best promoters to offer you a number of benefits

MS for Startups

Inmersion and Pilot



Access to investors

Industry Leveraging


Privileged Access to global startups

Brand Building

Social Impact

Outside the innovation

Global Network

Benefits for the promoter

Sport Thinkers creates bridges between large and small organizations to spark the innovation, build a strong local ecosystem and make a social impact through the local hubs


Complement your training with assessment of those who are ahead of latest trends in sports industry. Our working groups will help you understand better market demands, challeges and insights

Business Insights

The combination of the Microsoft Sports Digital Platform with our partner solutions provides fans with full access to apps, social media, the web, live-streaming, video-on-demand, multi-angle cameras, news, statistics, sports feeds and more, on any platform or device, at any time

Smart Stadium

With Cloud Services, the Microsoft Sports Digital Platform and the support of ISV partners, Microsoft provides a myriad of solutions. It includes a large set of fan services and experiences for the venue, including retail, food and beverage, cashless payments, digital ticketing, access validation, 360 ° video, IoT, and more

Athlete & Team Performance

Through the consolidation of team and athlete data from almost any source into the Microsoft Cloud, teams can get a 360 view of their players and gain the data-driven insights that will help increase performance and prevent injury. Microsoft Sports Performance Platform provides training staff with the necessary tools to score an on-field advantage

Fan Engagement

The combination of the Microsoft Sports Digital Platform with our partner solutions provides fans with full access to apps, social media, the web, live-streaming, video-on-demand, multi-angle cameras, news, statistics, sports feeds and more, on any platform or device, at any time

Digital Transformation

Working toward reducing the gap between small companies and sports entities we have created a working group devoted to the digital transformation of sports entities. This working group is focused on analyzing how to use different technologies within sports sponsorships, analyzing two fundamental points, innovation, and activation. This working group reviews real cases from the technological point of view such as performance and optimization of a sports sponsorship, the ROI of a sponsorship in Social Media, brand recognition and measurement on TV and web data management. In this working group, we aim to explore new digital assets, examine the expectations of the technological applications and innovation in sports sponsorships and understand the pricing of this market. In order to be successful, we have selected some of the most experienced partners in the vast GSIC ecosystem to form this working group.


As esports become increasingly popular around the world, at GSIC we decided that creating a working group was not only necessary but essential. Our Esports working group was created with the aim of reflecting on the industry and providing solutions to problems that exist or arise within it. GSIC has partnered with several companies associated with the center (Mediapro, Atos, Freedom and Flow Company, MC Saatchi Sponsorship, Real Madrid, Banco Sabadell, among others) to promote the implementation of this working group that seeks to address issues that involve key issues within esports such as the creation of specific digital content, the transformation in the consumption of these contents, challenges in gaming devices, monetization of the participation of fans and their communities, or the role of technology companies, distribution channels and sponsors , among others.



Augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality are all new technologies that are rapidly increasing in popularity, every day new and more practical uses are being discovered for this technology. At GSIC we have created a working group comprised of some of or invaluable partners with the intention of focusing this technology on the sporting world to holistically improve the sports industry in anything ranging from fan engagement to practice.


Health has always been and will always be not only a crucially important part of sports but also a main focus of technology. For this reason, we at GSIC have created a working group focused primarily on Health. This working group not only focuses on physical health but psychological health as well. The aim of this working group is to promote and ensure long-term health through technology with the intention of keeping players and fans healthy so that they may play longer and harder and enjoy their sport to its fullest.

Marketing & Sposorship

Sports entities are in a process of continuous progress and growth and in the Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft we are aware of the difficulties experienced by these entities when it comes to establishing progress in their digital transformation.

For this reason, in GSIC we work to reduce this gap, and we have created this working group focused on analyzing how to use different technologies within sports sponsorships, analyzing two fundamental points: innovation and activation.

We will review real cases from the technological point of view such as: performance and optimization of a sport sponsorship, the ROI of a sponsorship in Social Media, brand recognition and measurement on TV and web data management.

In this working group we will explore new digital assets, discuss the expectations of the technological applications and innovation in sports sponsorships and we will understand the pricing of this market.

Startup Calls

Get in touch to know more about Sport Thinkers


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