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Dodgers unveil partners for innovative accelerator programme

Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Los Angeles Dodgers has unveiled a list of 10 companies that will make up its inaugural accelerator programme.

Launched in partnership with the R/GA agency in April, the LA Dodgers Accelerator programme has been designed to help start-ups construct business models to access new opportunities within the professional sport sector.

Upon launching the programme, which will leverage resources from the Dodgers and the team’s various ownership and partner organisations, the franchise said it would provide a total of 10 start-ups with access to industry partnerships as well as distribution channels. The scheme was open to companies based in the US and overseas that operate across the sports, technology and entertainment sectors.

The start-ups that have been chosen to form the inaugural programme include live events management platform Appetize, business advisory firm Doorstat, private sports social network FieldLevel, wearables specialist FocusMotion and health and fitness software firm Kinduct.

Other start-ups that have been selected include sports experiences management company LeagueApps, mobile fitness application brand ProDay, fantasy league side challenge developer SidePrize, fantasy sports algorithm tools firm Swish Analytics and sports social platform Yezno.

The Dodgers will provide each company with a $20,000 (€17,500) investment in return for a six per cent equity stake. The selected companies will spend the next three months working with the Dodgers and R/GA to boost their presence in the wider sports and entertainment industry.

Upon confirming the list of start-ups, Tucker Kain, chief financial officer of the Dodgers, said that the scheme attracted approximately 600 applications.

“All of the companies will benefit greatly from the network and expertise the L.A. Dodgers, and its ownership, can provide," Kain said. “It's a little bit of an array of businesses, and we're excited about it. Now we have the opportunity to dig in and understand what problems people are trying to solve, find great entrepreneurs and work with them.”

Stephen Plumlee, global chief operating officer of R/GA, added: “We are fortunate to be working with category leaders such as Appetize, FieldLevel, Kinduct and LeagueApps, which have already built successful businesses, raised significant rounds and achieved impressive valuations.

“We are also excited to work with each of the emerging companies. With their input, we are innovating on the very idea of what an accelerator is and how a program can create value for companies at all stages.”

The program will be located in Los Angeles at the R/GA LA office and will culminate in an invite-only demo day for industry leaders, partner organisations, investors, and press at Dodger Stadium in early November.

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