2018 starts great for us! We were finalists at the World Football Summit`18 Bilbao.
Apart from the excitement of being 500m from the San Mamés Stadium the summit provided a lot for both football fans and companies operating in the industry (us being in both categories).
At the beginning of the summit people were a bit reluctant to come talk to the start-ups. There were so many of us and our banners provided just a hint of what we were doing. The real action came after the pitching competition. We were able to present in detail our visions, products/services and teams and the crowds came looking for innovative solutions to implement in their clubs. The competition between clubs is so great that clubs from all tiers were trying to familiarize themselves with the solutions in order to get an edge for next season.
We started a lot of conversations which we hope turn into fruitful partnerships.
Now I would like to share our experience from the rest of the summit.
Let`s start with the start-ups we met there. There were 15 great teams but I will share about the ones which made us see the future of football:
- FirstVision – I will start by mentioning that these guys are supported by “relatively” famous professional athletes Andrés Iniesta and Serge Ibaka. Now that we know the gravity of this company we can move forward to their product – a POV body camera which allows the fan to see the game from the point of view of the athlete.
- SoccerDream – Introducing VR headset used to provide cognitive football training to football clubs. Using the Ekkono method – also employed by clubs like FC Barcelona and Paris-Saint Germain FC. We could not resist to try it and performed a few exercises, and it was amazing.
- FootballAim – A football management system. These guys offer a lot of functionalities to a club, coach or player and are already preferred tool for clubs like RCD Espanyol.
All start-ups at the summit were great, but these three simply blew our minds. As the sports tech innovation community is still very concentrated I am sure we will see the rest soon and will be happy to share their progress over the following months.
Back to the WFS, the next amazing thing was the panels. More precisely the next generation of stadiums. Two projects were presented:
- FC Real Sociedad`s new stadium and digital/technological transformation – the project was presented by Juan Iraola (Head of Digital//Technology department). It is inspiring to hear about all the technological advancements which are incorporated into the new stadium and how they are going to improve the journey of the fan, the work of the coaching staff, the profitability of the club.
- FC Barcelona`s project for a renovated Camp Nou. It was interesting to hear that they considered to relocate completely, but the fans would not have it. So the clubs scrapped the relocation plans and started working on improving the legendary stadium. As with FC Real Sociedad they have big plans. What was most astonishing was that at Camp Nou the journey fans have with the players will not start at the first referee whistle, but way before that – from the locker room.
We had an amazing time at the summit, made a lot of new friends, contacts and discovered opportunities. We will keep you up-to-date with all our developments.