Grégoire Junod, Mayor of Lausanne and President of the World Union of Olympic Cities
Sport is one of the tools that cities have long used to increase their competitiveness. In particular, sports events that have proven to play a key role in a city’s brand image, in the development of its tourist attractiveness or its economic development in the broad sense.
However, in recent years, a new trend has emerged: incubators and accelerators dedicated to sports technology. Their ability to connect two worlds – sport and innovation – give cities the opportunity to create new jobs, attract new talents and develop the local economy. These are just a few examples of the benefits they can bring to a city.
Sports incubators and accelerators are both designed to accelerate the growth and success of young entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services. This can include access to physical space, capital, mentorship/coaching, and networking opportunities.
Today, in Europe alone, there are more than 1.000 Sports Tech companies and the invested capital reached a new historical record with about 135 M€ in 2017. This is three times more than in 2013.
Here in Lausanne, we consider this opportunity as a way to capitalise on our unique strengths of being the home of International Sports and a centre of innovation. But we also consider that it is our role at the international level to offer the possibility for all incubators and start-ups from the entire world to come to Lausanne to gather and to build ties with the international sports world based in the region. This year, our city hosted the world’s first ever sports start-up annual meeting aimed at fostering innovation in sport: “The Spot”.
This is just the beginning of a new era in sports. I hope that reading this report will bring you new ideas and inspire your city to strengthen its investment in sports innovation.
Mayor of the City of Lausanne
President of the World Union of Olympic Cities