Ex-NFL Player, Olympic Medalist Team Up to Disrupt Boston Sports Tech

With the launch of the Boston-based Sports Innovation Lab comes a goal of bringing together a highly fragmented market in a very comprehensive way. The Sports Innovation Lab is a market research firm that evaluates the technology products and services that will shape the future of sports. The brains behind the Lab have developed this platform, along with a network of advisors, to guide companies in making strategic technology decisions.

Despite launching in such a highly competitive space, the Sports Innovation Lab team feels their approach to the market holds its own. Their advisory network itself makes up an impressive team, providing insight on how technology is changing their sport and their industry.

“We have a team that’s building a software platform that actually augments the human analysis. When you think about why this company is positioned for success, it’s really the deep domain expertise of the management team - NFL athlete, olympic athlete, sports data businesses. We all come at this from a different perspective,” explained Josh Walker, ‎former VP of research at Forrester Research and entrepreneur-in-residence at General Catalyst, as well as one of Sports Innovation Lab’s co-founders and managing directors.

The Lab’s advisory board includes figureheads like NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard iLab Managing Director Jodi Goldstein, and CEO of Kraft Analytics Group, Jessica Gelman. The Lab strategically aligns their advisory network with each trend they see to compliment their software platform.

Angela Ruggiero, Olympic gold medalist and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and additional founder and managing director of the operation, said the Sports Innovation Lab will be beneficial in a variety of fields. “Agencies will give better recommendations, companies looking to partner will have more visibility into opportunities, teams will be able to engage their fans better, and athletes will have higher performance on the field,” she pointed out. For the record, Ruggiero is one of the most decorated female hockey players in history.

According to Isaiah Kacyvenski, NFL vet turned entrepreneur, investor, and co founder and managing director of the operation, what helps set the Lab apart is its huge database and ability to create objective report cards in the form of deep market intelligence lab evaluations: Scout™. The Scout™ is an interactive decision framework for evaluating next-generation technology products and services. Each Scout™is produced when the Sports Innovation Lab tests a product category of sports technology in the Lab.

"If we do our job right, you’ll be writing about the sports in lab, not as an accelerator or an incubator, but as the catalyst for how this city becomes the global hub for sports innovation,” said Walker.

And the city - already well versed in biotech, cleantech, and fintech, with an inevitable growth in sportstech - has shown strong support for the Lab. “Boston is a growing, thriving city - and that includes Boston’s business community,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Boston is also a city with a strong sports culture, and I’m thrilled the Sports Innovation Lab is taking two of Boston’s best attributes and leading the way in sports innovation.”

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