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NBA Launchpad selects companies to develop basketball technology

By: Eddie May
• February 2023

SkillCorner is proud to be one of seven companies selected for the second instalment of NBA Launchpad, the league’s initiative to source, evaluate and pilot emerging technologies that advance the NBA’s top priorities on and off the court. 

 

NBA Communications issued the following announcement on 28 February 2023:

 

The National Basketball Association today announced it has selected seven companies for the second installment of NBA Launchpad, the league’s initiative to source, evaluate and pilot emerging technologies that advance the NBA’s top priorities on and off the court. Given the success of the platform in advancing key basketball priorities during its inaugural year, the 2023 NBA Launchpad has expanded to identify emerging fan experiences at home and in NBA arenas.

NBA Launchpad received hundreds of submissions from a diverse applicant pool, ranging from early-stage startups to public institutions.  

The 2023 cohort of the NBA Launchpad program includes:

 

Advancing The Game

 
  • SkillCorner (Paris, France): Technology that uses computer vision and machine learning to generate player tracking data from existing video feeds.

  • Springbok Analytics (Charlottesville, Virginia): AI-based technology that transforms MRI data into a 3D digital twin, quantifying an athlete’s musculature for precision health and performance optimization.

  • Supersapiens (Atlanta, Georgia): Technology that analyzes glucose data to inform athletes how nutrition impacts their well-being, sleep and athletic performance.

Enhancing The Fan Experience

 
  • Action Audio (Victoria, Australia): Technology that transforms spatial data into information-rich 3D sound experiences, helping blind/low vision audiences to follow sport in real time.

  • EDGE Sound Research (Riverside, California): Embodied sound technology that leverages standard audio inputs to produce audible, haptic and tactile sensation directly to a fan within an arena or at home for sports, music and gaming.

    nVenue (Houston, Texas): Sports betting platform that uses machine learning and AI to generate game-relevant probabilities and micro-bets for fans to engage with in real-time.

    Tagboard (Redmond, Washington): Audience experience platform designed to help production teams create the most engaging content in the world with a fraction of the resources required by traditional graphics systems. 

“NBA Launchpad is proud to support startups that are leveraging AI and machine learning to drive innovation in the sport of basketball,” said Tom Ryan, Vice President, Basketball Strategy, NBA. “By partnering with these cutting-edge companies, we’re pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on the court and unlocking new insights that have the potential to transform the game.”

 

“The expansion of NBA Launchpad has opened the door to create and enhance ways for fans to experience our game,” said Jason Bieber, Vice President, Global Strategy & Innovation, NBA. “By partnering with these innovative companies, we hope to bring fans closer to the action and uncover insights about the future of fan engagement.”

 

Over the next six months, NBA Launchpad companies will participate in a six-month R&D project within the NBA’s ecosystem. As part of NBA Launchpad, companies and entrepreneurs will receive access to NBA resources, hands-on support and other unique incentives to develop future technologies. At the conclusion of the program, Launchpad companies will present to NBA executives, strategic partners and investors during NBA Launchpad Demo Day at NBA 2K24 Summer League in Las Vegas.

To conduct a holistic review process, the NBA partnered with Pitchtape, a video submission management platform, and enlisted subject matter experts from the League Office, teams, and partners to evaluate each submission.

 

For more information, please visit www.launchpad.nba.com or email launchpad@nba.com.

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