Capgemini announced today the two start-up finalists of Scrum7, its sport-tech competition, inspired by its sponsorship status as Global Innovation Partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. AYO and Spalk were selected by Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE) in London during a contest set up to demonstrate how technology can enable people, whether they be sports coaches, athletes or fans, to engage more deeply with the game. It focused on two main themes:
- ‘Performance’ category: AYO that helps you sleep better, beat jet lag and have more energy, was selected in the category focused on using new tools and processes to improve the performance of sports teams
- ‘Experience’ category: Spalk that lets broadcasters grow their audience and fan engagement through demographically targeted commentary was selected in the category focused on enhancing sporting audiences’ experience at a venue and across broadcasting platforms.
“Capgemini’s Scrum7 contest has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to mobilise our ecosystem of start-ups and explore the real benefits that innovative technology solutions can bring to the game of Rugby for the benefit of players, coaches and sports fans,” comments Rory Burghes, Head of Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange in London. “AYO and Spalk demonstrated what the AIE is all about – tangible and useful application of technology that will bring immediate benefits, to players, coaches or the fans.”
The finalists of the UK competition will now spend two days with Loughborough University’s Rugby Sevens team to test out their sport-tech solutions at a real game with both players and fans, gathering feedback on their product to make iterations before the international final, in which they will compete with four other start-ups.
Alan Buzza, Director of Rugby at Loughborough University, comments: “This exciting new initiative gives us a great chance to further explore the possibilities of technology and data in Rugby Sevens. We are focused on championing excellence in sports, so that we continue to enhance the performance and experience during the games.”
The winners of the international final, held at Vivatech in Paris 24-26 May, will then travel to San Francisco in July for the 2018 Rugby Sevens World Cup and to attend an innovation event, held at Capgemini’s San Francisco Applied Innovation Exchange, where they will get an opportunity to engage with World Rugby.
Aleksandar Dimitrov, co-founder and CMO at AYO commented, “We look forward to working with Capgemini and Loughborough University to develop our technology further and tailor it to athletes’ needs to minimise their jetlag, improve their performance and, ultimately, help them win the games.”
Ben Reynolds, CEO at Spalk, added, “It’s a brilliant opportunity for us to work with Capgemini and Loughborough University to innovate around fan experience in a way that truly reflects World Rugby’s values – we look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”
Notes to editors
- At VivaTech this year Capgemini will create a sport-tech hub. In addition to the Scrum7 final, where sport-tech start-ups from the UK, US and France will present their solutions to an esteemed panel from the worlds of tech, business and leisure, the hub will also feature several panel discussions on the impact of technology and innovation on sport and business. The sessions will be open to the public on the Capgemini booth (H23), as well as broadcast live on digital channels.
- In addition to VivaTech Paris, both finalists and contenders will be present at Capgemini’s What’s Now London event, on 31st May, which will bring to life the sport-tech arena – to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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