leAD Sports Accelerator : Interview with Thomas Riedel, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Riedel Communications

Thomas Riedel, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Riedel Communications

Thomas is one of leAD’s investors and a passionate entrepreneur. He is the founder and managing director of Riedel Communications; a company which designs, manufactures and distributes innovative real-time networks for video, audio and communications.

How did it all begin? How did you decide to invest in leAD?

It began with a meeting with leAD founders Horst Bente and Tim Krieglstein at Riedel HQ in Wuppertal. Horst is the grandson of Adi Dassler founder of Adidas, and Tim is an old friend of mine. After an intriguing afternoon together, I knew that I wanted to be part of this exciting project.

Being a life-long entrepreneur who began his journey in a garage 30 years ago, I have been searching for a way to share my experiences and mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs. The leAD program empowers future entrepreneurs and innovators and enables them to have access to capital, knowledge, innovation, and the global market.

In which way does Riedel Communications support leAD and its Accelerator Program? Do you have a success story to share?

We support leAD by mentorship and investment. I believe that exceptional people working together will always produce great results. This applies not only to Riedel, but also for every partnership we build and nurture. Together with leAD graduate ForwardGameAR, who aspires to use technology to encourage outdoor play, we are developing tomorrow’s AR and interactive solutions with a focus on innovation in fan engagement.

How does Riedel Communications’ support to leAD fit with its strategy? How does it contribute to achieving Riedel Communications’ objectives?

Riedel is all about innovation and creating new experiences. And today, innovation has never been more important. In our globalized world, startups can help drive economies and accelerate innovation. As the worlds of broadcast, sports, and entertainment continue to converge, we are experiencing disruptive and radical technological changes. But this is only the beginning! New technologies are actually changing how audiences experience and consume content. Companies that can see these dramatic changes as opportunities are the ones who will come out on top.

Riedel has been innovating since 1987. It’s in our DNA. Today, we are still an entrepreneurial company.

We see it as our mission to help guide customers and partners through these changes, with ideas and customized solutions from a single source. And we are always looking for new ideas, technologies, and partners.

As a company with a 360-degree view, we see that leAD is a great place to be when it comes to supporting innovation.

What have you learned from the start-ups of the leAD Accelerator Program?

leAD reminds me that living your passion is a breeding ground for new ideas. This new generation of entrepreneurs is dynamic, enthusiastic, and hungry to change the world. They are prepared for success but understand that failure is part of the game. We learn our most valuable lessons through failures and Riedel is no exception. Mistakes can be painful, but are absolutely necessary in order to move forward.

It’s important to note that learning never ends. After three decades in the broadcast and event technology business, I am reminded by these startups that we must constantly evolve in order to remain an innovative and passionate company.

What advice would you give to people/company who are exploring the opportunity to invest in sport tech platforms such as leAD? Why should they do it?

Uniting experts from various industries with a true passion for sports, leAD provides a global platform for the startups who are shaping the future of sports. Never be afraid of taking a different path and always be open to new opportunities and technologies.

leAD creates an environment where imagination, enthusiasm, and entrepreneurship all come together to create new businesses with game changing ideas. Why wouldn’t a company want to be a part of that?