What do the Founding Director of the Sports Innovation Programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Global Head of Research at Nielsen Sports and a former Director for Federal Cybersecurity Policy on the White House National Security Council have in common? Answer: They will all be guest speakers at the first edition of The SPOT, which will take place on 15-16 May 2018 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

ThinkSport unveiled a number of knowledgeable speakers today along with details on the programme of a pioneering new event that aims to stimulate progress in sport by bringing together bright minds and fresh innovations inside and outside the industry. 

Senior Manager at Exponent, Inc. and former MIT Sports Innovation Programme founder Kim Blair, who has also an interesting background as a NASA aerospace engineer, will discuss new technologies. Mike Wragg, Global Head of Research at Nielsen Sports, will share his insights into the global expansion of e-sports, while Dr. Earl Crane of Emergent Network Defense, a former National Security Council member, will give a presentation on digital security.

Anything but conventional, The SPOT will offer the following:

•             a Marketplace and Demo Zone, where participants will be able to present and discover innovative products and solutions;

•             numerous networking opportunities allowing new cross-sector partnerships and projects to come into being;

•             an engaging conference and workshop programme, created to connect participants with pioneers in innovation;

•             an international start-up competition to promote and reward new business ideas.

The two-day conference and workshop program is structured around the themes of Connecting the World, Information is Power, Future Athletes and Future Sport. Discussions will take place in an open space and a dynamic atmosphere. Speakers will share their insights with participants and then engage in thought-provoking conversations with each other and with attendees.

The start-up contest targets young companies with innovative business ideas that help to promote sport and physical activity in any form. Start-ups have until 20 April 2018 to sign up for the event, where they will be given the opportunity to make three-minute pitches of their concepts on a dedicated stage. Each start-up will then partake in three-minute Q&A sessions with a panel of experts. A handful of shortlisted start-ups will then advance to the final, to be held in front of an audience that will include investors. Start-ups can benefit from interesting event packages as well as the early bird rate.

Anna Hellman, Director of ThinkSport, said: “We have been thrilled by the interest shown in The SPOT by people from all kinds of sectors and backgrounds. As a result, we have lined up some great speakers and contributors. We will continue to work hard to create a valuable event that brings together people of all different backgrounds who are keen to think outside the box. It is about offering different angles on various topics that will have an important impact on the future of sport.” 

ThinkSport has signed up seven sponsors for The SPOT already: (Health Services), digitalswitzerland (Swiss Digital Network), EVS (Broadcast Production Services), Medbase (Medical Centres), Mindmaze/ Gait Up (Motion Analysis Solutions), Nielsen (Research & Insight) and Penceo (a digital communication agency). Negotiations with other companies are ongoing. Click here to find out more about supporters of The SPOT.

Whether you work in the sports industry or elsewhere, come from Switzerland or abroad, The SPOT is sure to engage people with an interest or stake in sport, physical activity and technology and those keen to think outside the box. Secure your early bird rate by registering at by 25 February 2018!

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