JUNE 27, 2017 (BOSTON, MA) – The Sports Innovation Lab today launches Scout™: an online evaluation tool to help sports industry clients identify the technology solutions they need to innovate their organizations and achieve their goals.
Scout™ is a proprietary technology evaluation tool for the sports industry. It analyzes products across the sports technology market based on detailed lab evaluations, and identifies market leaders according to sports organizations’ specific requirements. Scout™ then places its bespoke insights into the complex sports technology market at customers’ fingertips through the Sports Innovation Lab’s online platform.
This customizable tool is the first of its kind and will revolutionize the way the emerging market of sports technology and innovation is defined. Crucially, Scout™ will equip sports industry clients to make the best choices when selecting new technology products and vendors.
Utilizing Scout™, the Sports Innovation Lab has created new rankings for the Athlete Performance Platform market – technologies that provide data on athletes, which can then be used for anything from creating personalized training programs to delivering a more engaging sports event viewing experience. The Scout™ rankings identify the leading technology vendors as “Game Changers,” which are the highest ranked companies in this space, based on peer-reviewed, industry-sourced criteria.
For the Athlete Performance Platform Scout™ rankings, the Sports Innovation Lab created four “buyer personas”: Enterprise Buyers, Sports Scientists, Strength and Conditioning Coaches, and Evangelists. These personas represent different types of sports industry client, with product assessment criteria corresponding to their specific needs. After evaluating technology vendors against these four buyer personas, the Sports Innovation Lab is proud to recognize the following companies as “Game Changers”:
The highly-anticipated launch of Scout™ just six months after the establishment of the Sports Innovation Lab is a testament to the hard work of the team, led by partners Josh Walker, Isaiah Kacyvenski, and Angela Ruggiero.
“It is an exciting time for the sports industry because technology is fundamentally changing the future of sport at a very fast pace,” said Walker, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Sports Innovation Lab. “Since our launch, we’ve been helping our sports industry clients make better technology decisions. They’ve told us they want a formal framework for evaluating and selecting technology. With the launch of Scout™, we now have that tool.”
“We are launching Scout™ with the Athlete Performance Platform market because we feel it’s the most compelling area of sports technology innovation today, with its wide-ranging implications beyond elite sports including healthcare, corporate wellness, military, and youth sports,” said Kacyvenski, Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Sports Innovation Lab. “The Game Changers we’ve named in our Scout™ on the Athlete Performance Platform market have clearly demonstrated the ability to consolidate and analyze multiple sources of athlete data and provide a long-term vision of how this technology impacts everyone.”
Until the release of the Scout™, the sports industry had to rely on anecdotal and incomplete information to make technology decisions. As technology truly transforms the industry and throws business models into flux, this is no longer acceptable. Scout’s online platform has been developed in partnership with a panel of experts including advisors, academics, and customers. The data is peer reviewed by the vendors themselves. For this specific project the Sports Innovation Lab interviewed more than 100 experts and decision-makers across the industry.
“The launch of our Scout™ product is an important milestone for the company,” said Ruggiero, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Sports Innovation Lab. “Looking ahead, we are also focused on the larger vision for the Sports Innovation Lab. Our vision is to become the global hub for understanding sports technology and innovation – period.”
The Sports Innovation Lab is the first research and advisory firm dedicated to the sports technology industry. The company launched in January 2017 with its flagship digital research platform, giving client members access to more than 1,000 sports and fitness technology vendor profiles, organized into sectors that describe in depth each company's capabilities within the markets they serve.
In addition, the Sports Innovation Lab boasts an advisory panel of more than fifty world-class global advisors and innovators, whose market analysis and predictions will be available to clients on the research platform. A small sample of the current advisors who inform the Sports Innovation Lab’s coverage of Quantified Athlete technology include: Mark Gorski of Sports Data Labs, Mark Verstegen of EXOS, Dr. Leslie Saxon of USC Center for Body Computing, Doug Casa of the Korey Stringer Institute, and Mounir Zok of the US Olympic Committee. For a more complete list of Sports Innovation Lab advisors, please visit www.sportsilab.com.
The Sports Innovation Lab founders come from three very different backgrounds. Josh Walker is a proven venture-backed entrepreneur and former VP of Research from Forrester, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms. Angela Ruggiero, a four-time Olympic medalist, has spent over a decade in sports administration and is currently a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board, Chair of IOC Athletes' Commission, and Chief Strategy Officer for the LA 2024 Olympic bid. Isaiah Kacyvenski is a former NFL player, active investor and advisor, proven entrepreneur, and an expert in the sports technology space.
Select company partners now include Booz Allen Hamilton, Gatorade, Google, Go4it, Harvard Innovation Lab, IBM, Intel, MIT Sports Technology Research Group, NBA, NFLPA, Octagon, OneTeam Collective, Portico Capital, USC Center for Body Computing, and Verizon.
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The Sports Innovation Lab identifies and evaluates technology products and services that power the future of sports. Our digital market research platform and a world-class advisor network help companies make strategic technology decisions.
As the pace of innovation accelerates, the sports technology market is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. First-movers have the opportunity to get ahead of their competition by investing in or partnering with the next game changer. But, they can also waste lots of time and money chasing the wrong opportunity.
Scout synthesizes complicated market data into simple, straightforward terms. It’s designed to help you identify a shortlist of vendors and, ultimately, determine which company is best suited for you. Each Scout covers a specific market segment, its key players and its emerging trends.
Our 2017 Q2 Scout provides comprehensive research, to-the-point analysis and interactive tools to give you the clarity and confidence to make big, smart decisions about Athlete Performance Platforms.
Our digital research platform enables us to identify and monitor the evolution of sports and fitness technology trends across thousands of global companies. We've identified these trends as key areas of industry disruption: quantified athlete, smart venue, immersive media, next generation sponsorship, and eSports. Throughout 2017, we will be providing objective evaluations for products and services within each of these trends.
As founders of the Sports Innovation Lab, we are driven to use our unique market insights to mobilize global partnerships among high-tech companies, sports and fitness brands, investment capital firms, corporate influencers, and start-ups.
NFL veteran turned entrepreneur and investor, Isaiah has been involved in conceptualization, product development, business development, marketing, and sales across a broad range of tech, biotech, sports, and consumer applications.
Olympic Gold Medalist and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame with leadership positions at the highest levels of sport, including the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee, Angela guides the strategies of major sports organizations.
Former VP of Research at Forrester Research and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at General Catalyst, Josh has successfully launched and grown several venture-backed software and data businesses.
Managing Director, Sports Innovation Lab
Isaiah’s diverse background includes earning two degrees from Harvard, playing in the National Football League for 8 years between, and achieving success as an experienced entrepreneur and investor.
Mr. Kacyvenski is currently the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Sports Innovation Lab. Mr. Kacyvenski has a very deep background in wearable sensor technology as the former Global Head of Business Development and Chairman of the Sports Advisory Board at MC10, a cutting-edge conformal electronics company focused on optimizing objective physiological data capture outside of a controlled setting. Isaiah joined MC10 after graduating from Harvard Business School and remained there for 6 years as he was involved in the ideation, development, sales, and marketing of several different technologies at MC10, including the revolutionary, physiological data capturing electronic patch, the BioStamp, multiple award-winning CheckLight– a sports impact indicator– as well as the first-of- its-kind hydration monitor to name just a few. Isaiah is also an investor in, and advisor to, several companies in technology, sports, biotech, consumer, media, and sports medicine.
Isaiah holds a Cum Laude Bachelor degree in Pre-Medicine from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Isaiah also serves on the Elected Board of the Friends of Harvard Football as well as the National Advisory Board for the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA). Isaiah currently serves on the elite Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Health and Fitness Technology Board. Isaiah is deeply involved with the long-term $100 Million Football Players Health Study at Harvard University, serving both as Player Advisor at Harvard Medical School and a Law and Ethics Advisory Panel Member at Harvard Law School. Isaiah is also a member of the NFLPA Health and Safety Committee, where he has served for over 4 years. Isaiah was also recently inducted into the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame.
After being named the Harvard University Male Athlete of the Year and becoming the highest draft pick in Harvard history, Isaiah played in the NFL for eight years, was elected Special Team Captain three years in a row and served in this role during Super Bowl XL. He is also a founding investor in the Massachusetts restaurant chain, b.good, which specializes in great tasting, healthy food, made fast. Prior to playing in the NFL and while at Harvard, he worked for the United States Department of Agriculture doing testing for the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. While in their Lipid Metabolism Laboratory, he isolated and tested DNA for various genetic mutations involving heart disease risk in 2,500 men while working under Senior Scientist and Director Dr. Ernst Schaefer.
Isaiah is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Sports and Fitness Industry Leaders Scholar, PETA Compassionate Action Award, 1st Team AP All-American, Nils V. "Swede" Nelson Award given to the "best, most academically talented; football player in New England". He was also the subject of an NFL Films profile about his rise from poverty to the NFL that received an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Long Feature. He was also featured on an Oprah Winfrey show titled "Why They Beat the Odds" and founded the Maggie Memorial Golf Tournament in honor of his late Mother, with all proceeds going to the orphanage she grew up in, the Children’s Home of Wyoming Conference. Isaiah has pulled from his experiences to become an experienced motivational speaker that various swaths of society can relate to.
Isaiah remarried his high school sweetheart, Lauren, and they have two beautiful children, Isaiah Jr. and Lilliana.
Managing Director, Sports Innovation Lab
A four-time Olympic ice hockey player, Ruggiero grew up in Los Angeles. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University, where she was a four-time All-American, as well as an Academic All-American. She also holds an M.Ed. in Sports Management from the University of Minnesota and a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Ruggiero currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for the 2024 Los Angeles Olympic Bidding Committee and is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Sports Innovation Lab, the leading independent market research and advisory firm delivering insights on the intersection of sports and technology.
Angela Ruggiero was appointed to the United States Olympic Committee of directors and began serving as an International Olympic Committee Member in February 2010, following her election to represent all Olympic athletes on the IOC Athletes’ Commission. She is the current Chair of the IOC Athlete’s Commission and a Member of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee.
In addition to Chairing the IOC Athletes’ Commission, she is a Member of the Executive Board (2016-); Member (2010-2014), Vice-Chair (2014-2016) then Chair (2016-) of the Athletes' Commission; Member of the following Commissions: Entourage (2010-2015), Evaluation then Coordination for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 (2011-), Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport (2015-), Coordination for the XXIV Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 (2016-); Chair of the Coordination Commission for the 2nd Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016 (2012-2016); Member of the Board of Directors of Olympic Channel Services S.A., Switzerland (2015-)
In addition to her duties on the IOC, Ruggiero is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Athlete’s Commission and the IOC liaison to the newly formed International Rugby Board Athletes’ Commission, while also serving on the Foundation board of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Executive Board of the Women’s Sports Foundation.
A star player on the U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey Team and 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame Member (as just the 4th woman), Ruggiero won a gold medal in 1998, silvers in 2002 and 2010, and bronze in 2006. During her 16-year career with the U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team, she competed in more games than any other man or woman in USA Hockey history, playing in 10 world championships and earning the gold medal on four occasions.
Managing Director, Sports Innovation Lab
Josh Walker began his career as an aspiring sports journalist. After a very brief internship with the Vermont Expos as the voice from the crowd, Josh moved to Boston where he worked for Delphi Internet and wrote for local Boston newspapers. In 1997, Josh joined Forrester Research as a Research Associate in Forrester's Software and Architecture Group. As an entry-level market research associate, Josh interviewed CIOs of Fortune 1000 companies who were trying to navigate through the explosive growth of Internet-based technologies and adopt new programming models based on Java and XML.
Josh spent 6 years at Forrester moving quickly into the role of VP of Research. He started Forrester's TechRankings business – a product line designed to compete with Gartner's Magic Quadrant. Under his direction, TechRankings became one of the fastest growing products in Forrester's history. Josh eventually built a software testing lab at Forrester to support the growth of this business – which evolved into the Forrester Wave.
After Forrester, Josh spent time as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at General Catalyst – a leading venture capital firm. At General Catalyst, Josh worked closely with David Orfao and Jeremy Allaire on the launch of Brightcove and on other deals such as Kayak, Choicestream, and Demandware.
Since leaving General Catalyst, Josh has successfully launched and grown several venture-backed companies at the cross-section of software and data: CityVoter, Comlinkdata, and Stattleship. Josh currently runs the Boston Sports Analytics group and helps drive product direction and strategy for the Sports Innovation Lab. He began building the Sports Innovation Lab's research platform after meeting with owners and operators across professional sports. The opportunity was a familiar one. There were too many vendors selling complicated technology to buyers who wanted to optimize their operations without having to learn technology. The market wants an objective voice to help with these decisions and a way to demystify sports technology. In December 2016, Josh incorporated the Sports Innovation Lab with his partners Isaiah Kacyvenski and Angela Ruggiero to address this global market need.
We've assembled advisors who think critically about how technology is changing their sport and their industry.
Our advisors share their technology requirements, technology experiences, and technology perspectives on the future of sports innovation.
CEO, Korey Stringer Institute; Professor, Dept of Kinesiology at UCONN
Managing Director, MIT Sports Technology Research Group
Executive Vice President, AECOM
Analyst for ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown; Former NFL Quarterback
Founder, Rabil Companies; Investor; Professional Lacrosse Player
General Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners
Founder & Executive Director, USC Center for Body Computing
Senior Vice President, NBC Sports Ventures and Comcast Ventures
Founder & President, EXOS; Director of Performance, NFLPA
Olympic Gold Medalist, Short Track Speed Skating; IOC member
We are proud to welcome our founding corporate clients and academic partners. These groups see a future where technology drives the future of sport.
No one company innovates alone. The Sports Innovation Lab organizes events grounded in data analysis and market research so attendees can explore opportunities with new insights and greater clarity. From public startup showcases to private innovation breakfasts, we assemble the right content and experts to ignite our clients' imaginations and jumpstart new initiatives.