On Monday 24 June, City Football Group (CFG) will be welcoming 11 start-ups from Manchester and further afield to attend a five-day accelerator to showcase how they can solve five big challenges identified by City’s global network of football clubs.
Hosted at the Etihad Campus, CFG will continue its strong track-record of technology and innovation, by putting a range of ideas to the test in front of an expert panel.
Supported by a team of exciting collaboration partners, including Sapphire Ventures who, with City Football Group, jointly launched a first-of-its-kind $115m sport tech fund, Sapphire Sport, CFG is offering a unique opportunity for start-ups to accelerate their growth.
Other partners lending their expertise to the challenge are Manchester Metropolitan University and the Growth Company Services which include GC Angels and GC Business Growth Hub as well as the Department for International Trade NW and MIDAS.
Having received more than 200 applications from 37 countries, 11 finalists have been selected to join the week-long workshop, focusing on one of five key pillars:
Sustainable Stadium – How to reduce waste, improve energy efficiencies, and reduce carbon footprint
Easy Stadium – How to make match-day quicker and easier by removing queues and improving access to services
Vibrant Stadium – How to leverage home advantage and engage the crowd even more in the action
My Stadium – How to provide each fan with a personalised experience
Global Stadium – Ensuring all supporters feel part of a family that isn’t constrained by physical location or time
The best performing start-ups will be given an opportunity to launch a short-term pilot of their solution, supported along the way by a team at City Football Group.
“Innovation is a key part of City Football Group’s DNA. Unearthing the next generation of start-ups and engaging a community which will provide tangible and specific solutions to Manchester City is something we are hugely passionate about.” said Nuria Tarre, Chief Marketing Officer at City Football Group.
“Manchester was the home of the industrial revolution, so we are excited to be part of its future as a major technology and innovation hub for the 21st century.
"By gaining fresh ideas and rethinking the way we approach a project, we strongly believe that the City Start-up Challenge will provide a world-class platform for innovation and creativity while allowing us to shape the future of the fan experience.”
With support being provided by his Department, Dr Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, said: “I welcome the prosperity that football is bringing to the UK economy, both through our exceptional clubs and the many businesses, great and small, which are contributing behind the scenes.
“It’s brilliant to see Manchester City attracting the world’s brightest and best, both on and off the pitch. With the Premier League growing its international audience, the UK is changing how people watch and experience football around the world, and we can be incredibly proud of this.”
The City Start-up Challenge is the latest in a long line of innovations at City Football Group.
Following two successful hackathons and the introduction of the SAP Challenger Insights App, the 2018/19 season saw Intel True View volumetric technology rolled out at the Etihad Stadium, allowing fans to enjoy the biggest moments of the match from every angle.