Future of Sport Lab and Relay Ventures Join Forces to Propel Innovation in Sports Technology

1 March 2024

Future of Sport Lab, a SportsTech innovation hub founded by Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and supported by the DMZ, is excited to announce its new strategic partnership with Relay Ventures, a leading Canadian venture capital firm specializing in early-stage investments. This landmark partnership brings together Future of Sport Lab's expertise in sports technology research, innovation, and entrepreneurship with Relay Ventures' extensive experience in early stage SportsTech investing.

As a foundational partner, Relay Ventures has committed to invest in and partner with a select number of companies from each cohort, helping to create a pathway for entrepreneurs in the evolving sports technology industry. Relay was involved in theScore’s $2 billion sale to PENN Entertainment - the largest transaction ever recorded for a Canadian Sports Tech company - and Playmaker’s $188 million sale to Better Collective.

Future of Sport Lab has already made significant strides in advancing the SportsTech sector. To date, Future of Sport Lab has graduated 19 startups that have gone on to raise more than $75 million in new investments along with securing several significant sport business partnerships. FSL alumni include successful SportsTech companies such as Spalk, Zone 7, BookSeats and The Gist – all which have blazed a trail of innovation in the sports industry. FSL is also supported by a remarkable roster of more than 20 senior industry advisors and executives representing a range of leading sport organizations and stakeholders.

"We are thrilled to have Future of Sport Lab partner with Relay Ventures, a renowned leader in early stage investments,” said Dr. Cheri Bradish, Founder and Managing Director, Future of Sport Lab. “This alliance will enable us to further accelerate the development of innovative sports technologies that will revolutionize the industry and help to create a much needed pathway for Canadian startups to secure funding to drive their businesses.”

"It is very exciting to join forces with the Future of Sport Lab, a recognized leader in the SportsTech sector," said Simon Sokol, Vice President of Relay Ventures. "We continue to be bullish on SportsTech and are excited to partner with startups from the Future of Sport Lab to bring further innovation to the world of sports. We hope to provide early-stage startups with the capital and resources needed to innovate and disrupt the fast-changing world of sports. Together with the Future of Sport Lab, we are committed to supporting innovation and the creation of groundbreaking solutions that will shape the future of sports, media and entertainment."

Future of Sport Lab is now accepting applications for its 2024 cohort. Perspective startups can apply at https://www.futuresportlab.com/apply

The Future of Sport Lab offers a custom incubator program for startups and innovators which includes dedicated mentorship, agile curricular programming, pilot projects and academic support through the program and DMZ.