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Taylor Record
March 9, 2020

And the Winners of WERDER LAB Pitch Day are...

Well, the big day finally happened! On 6 March, nine teams from around the world took the stage at betahaus | Berlin to compete in the WERDER LAB Pitch Day, but only three were selected to participate in WERDER LAB.

If this is the first you’re hearing of it, WERDER LAB is the incubation program powered by Werder Bremen and betahausX. Since applications opened in November,  nearly 100 teams in the fields of talent prediction, injury prevention, ordigital content management applied from cities around the world with the hope of bringing their innovative technologies to one of Germany’s largest sports clubs. 

cc Dominik Tryba, www.introduce.berlin


But after today, just three teams will proceed into WERDER LAB. It was a closed event, but we're sharing a behind-the-scenes look because this is arguably the biggest thing happening in German SportsTech right now.

PITCH DAY

Pitch Day kicked off in the Hideout at betahaus | Neukölln with competing teams, the panel of judges, and a closed audience. Teams specializing in talent prediction, injury prevention, and digital content management traveled in from as far away as India and the USA for their chance to pitch their solutions to Werder Bremen.

cc Dominik Tryba, www.introduce.berlin

Here are some of the highlights from WERDER LAB Pitch Day.


  • Four of nine startups pitched online over travel concerns caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Thankfully for the digital format emphasized from the get-go, calls and discussions worked out seamlessly. Although completely unintentionally, all the winners were startups who were pitching in person. That confirms the importance of those discussions people have in-person. Those break or lunchtime chats are crucial!

  • Event Moderator and COO of betahausX – Iva Jankovic – has been closely involved in the project over the last four months and lent an air of familiarity and authenticity to the event.

  • What you might not know is that Werder Bremen is also the sports club leading the way in ingenuity and creativity. Over the years, they’ve shown a commitment to advancing innovation within sports clubs to the benefit of athletes, organizations, and fans. They were the first club in Germany with VIP boxes (1992) and the first Bundesliga football team to have their own website (1996).

  • Startups applied from 37 countries with representation from every continent (except Antarctica).

  • None of the finalist teams were actually from Germany, despite the event being held in Berlin for an opportunity with one of Germany's largest sports clubs!

MEET THE JURY

The jury for WERDER LAB Pitch Day was stacked with powerhouses of Werder Bremen.

Marco Bode

Chairman of the Supervisory Board for Werder Bremen

Marco is chairman of the supervisory board of Werder. He was active as a striker for Werder in 379 matches from 1989 to 2002 and scored 101 goals. From 1995 to 2002 he appeared in 40 internationals for Germany and became European Champion with the team in 1996. After his career as a player, he became shareholder and managing director of the sports marketing agency deepblue sports and acts as a consultant for the production company Nordisch Filmproduktion.

cc Dominik Tryba, www.introduce.berlin

 

Klaus Filbry

CEO at Werder Bremen

Klaus is CEO at Werder Bremen. He started his career as a footballer and after having finished his MBA at University of Bristol he moved to Adidas in 1994 where he worked in numerous executive positions and finally reached VP of Global Football Management. In 2010 he first joined Werder Bremen as Managing Director responsible for Finance, Marketing and Management before taking on the Chairmanship two years later. 

 

Dr. Hubertus Hess-Grunewald

GM Organisation & Sport at Werder Bremen

Hubertus started as a member of SV Werder Bremen in 1970 when he played on the youth teams. He has since become the President and GM of Organisation & Sports for Werder Bremen.

 

Nico Hruby 

Chief Digital Officer at Werder Bremen

Having joined Werder in early 2019 as Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Nico is responsible for the digital transformation at Werder Bremen. His duties include the development of a comprehensive digital strategy as well as the setup, coordination, prioritization and delivery of digital projects throughout the different verticals of the club. Nico contributes vast digital experience, having been responsible for digital projects for soccer brands like FC Bayern Munich, Juventus Turin, FIFA and DFL – Deutsche Fussball Liga in the past.

cc Dominik Tryba, www.introduce.berlin


Tarek Brauer 

Vice President of Legal & HR at Werder Bremen

Having worked as a lawyer in an international law firm before, Tarek joined Werder in summer 2011 and took over the responsibility of implementing both a Legal and an HR department. Meanwhile, Tarek is VP Legal & HR. His duties include executive development and training activities for employees, development of effective organisational and operational structures, pushing forward cultural change as well as the strategic consulting of the management board.

ABOUT THE PRIZE

WERDER LAB is a two-month incubation program powered by Werder Bremen and betahausX. The prize includes:

  • Workspace at betahaus | Berlin
  • Mentorship by industry experts
  • Access to unique player & organisation data
  • Product test within sports environment
  • Exposure & market access through media & press
  • Network with the best
  • Possibility of paid Proof of Concept (POC) upon program completion

AND THE WINNERS ARE…

After some deliberation, the jury voted on the teams based on five evaluation criteria: partner fit, solution, implementation, business case, and team. While just three startups were selected for the LAB, turnout was awesome and WB will be in touch with some of the startups to engage on different basis.

cc Dominik Tryba, www.introduce.berlin

Congrats to the winning teams who will proceed on to WERDER LAB.


The Gene Box (India)

Focus Area: Player Performance / Injury Prevention

The Gene Box provides analytical solutions, backed by genomics and powered by AI (NLP/ML). In WERDER LAB, they will use genomics for next-level, more accurate injury prevention and performance improvement in early-stage talent identification and development.


Silicon Valley Exercise Analytics (SVEXA) (USA)

Focus Area: Player Performance / Injury Prevention

Silicon Valley Exercise Analytics is an exercise intelligence company, providing individualized decision support for top tier sports teams and elite athletes so they can track readiness, maximize physical performance and decrease injury risks. Their objective is helping clubs get over the 'data tsunami' coming from different devices/wearables that athletes use by providing integration of all data streams for actionable insights to boost performance and avoid injuries.


Skill Corner (France)

Focus Area: Talent Prediction

SkillCorner is a computer vision startup collecting innovative football data automatically from any television broadcast. They use it to help clubs make more data-based decisions for players’ recruitment and have been working with Liverpool.

cc Dominik Tryba, www.introduce.berlin

From here, winning teams will move to the Kick Off at Werder Stadium in Bremen on 9 March. We’ll be covering their progress over the course of the program, so follow us on LinkedIn for updates!