Australian Sports Technologies Network

ASTN March 2014 Update

Less than 2 years into the life of the ASTN we continue to be excited by the prospect of Australia growing a highly successful sports technologies industry. As highlighted by some of our initiatives in 2013 (below) the ASTN remains very much focused on creating opportunities for our industry participants to help realize the full potential of the industry.

We are proud to announce that the ASTN finally has a home! Our new office, located near the waterfront in Geelong, will also provide the focal point of Australia’s first ever sports technology Accelerator program called HeadStart. This program, aimed at getting 20+ sports tech start-ups ‘investment ready’ over the next 2 years, will be launched over the coming months.

Expect to see the ASTN a lot more active in our marketing, communications and social media throughout the year. Many thanks to Aamir, Tarik and Tom (our social and content guys) in driving this. We encourage you to share any news and / or content on sports tech with us to distribute to our followers. Please forward any content to

Sports Tech Industry Precinct bid still under review

As an update the ASTN met with the Federal Coalition’s Department of Industry in December to discuss the status of the ASTN-led Sports Tech Industry Innovation Precinct Bid. Under the original plan, the Federal Government would support a $6m targeted industry development plan led by the ASTN over 4 years. Our successful bid was supported by 25 core partners with an in-principle agreement to provide cash and in-kind contributions of $4m+. Our expectation is that a decision will be made within the next 4 weeks on the success (or otherwise) of the bid. The success of our original bid once again highlights the significance of the opportunity to grow the sports tech industry in Australia.

ASC CEO Simon Hollingsworth addresses the ASTN ConferenceAustralian Sports Commission partners with ASTN
In late September 2013 the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) announced a 2 year partnership with the ASTN. This partnership strengthens the ASTN’s relationship with the ASC and national sporting organisations (NSOs). The ASC’s renewed focus on improving innovation and sustainability of NSOs – as highlighted in its Winning Edge Strategy (2012) – creates new commercial opportunities for the sports technologies industry across high performance, game development/ participation and sports administration. The partnership highlights the role that the ASTN and its members can play in identifying and developing new industry-led sports technology opportunities. We will be delivering a number of initiatives under this arrangement which will also see every national sporting organization have the right to be a member of the ASTN. We thank the ASC Chair, John Wylie, CEO Simon Hollingsworth and their team in supporting this initiative.

Erez Morag shares his experiences in sports innovation at Nike HQ at the ASTN Conference

Conference highlights how technology is creating a new sports playing field  
The 2nd Annual Sports Technologies Conference was a tremendous success, and attended by over 200 delegates in October. Co-hosted with the Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA) the Conference highlighted the convergence between the sports product innovation, sports digital innovation and the sports consumer. The day featured presentations and panel sessions from 26 industry experts, including Dr Erez Morag who led innovation research for Nike HQ in Oregon from 1998-2011.

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp educates our sports innovators
The Bootcamp – held the day after the Conference – is the only Australian-based event focused on sports technology commercialization, innovation and entrepreneurship. Topics included sports intra-preneurship, understanding technology needs of NSOs, Innovation & Speed, investment fundamentals for sports tech development and creating future opportunities. The Bootcamp was attended by 90 delegates.

Vanessa Picker and Liam Darmody (FitUsIn) receive their Winning cheque from Anthony Moore(ASC)Investment pitching comp uncovers new sports tech 

With more than $20,000 in prizes the competition is designed to uncover new sports technologies and assist entrepreneurs to commercialise these early-stage projects and start-up businesses. The 2012 and 2013 competitions attracted around 50 submissions from sport technologies entrepreneurs around Australia. The 2013 event has already seen at least four of the finalists in discussions with angel investors and major national customers. The 2013 winner was Vanessa Picker with FitUsIn (, the ‘wotif’ for the gyms and fitness industry. Runner’s up was Tony Haddleton from Streetboardz International, with the ‘Boarder Control’ product
  providing innovative braking systems for snowboards and skateboards.

Accelerator Program provides entrepreneurs with a HeadStartThe ASTN is currently finalizing arrangements which will see the establishment of Australia’s first business accelerator program focused on sports technologies commercialisation. The program, titled HeadStart, will see a selected group of 20-25 sports tech & IT start-ups undertake a rigourous program focused on ‘investment-readiness’.  Under the arrangement the ASTN will work with Geelong’s IT advocacy body, ICT Geelong, to support the development of digital and IT start-ups.

The program will be launched in March / April in conjunction with the official opening of ASTN’s national head office in Geelong. We thank Enterprise Geelong (part of the City of Greater Geelong) and the Commonwealth Department of Employment for their support of this initiative over a 2 year period.

Mentoring program helps sports tech businesses growThe 12-month Program aims to help like-minded business owners address the opportunities and challenges faced in leading a sports technology and manufacturing business. Supported by the Victorian Government’s Manufacturing Productivity Networks program, this subsidized program provides 12 high-potential sports tech businesses with tailored advice and guidance to help businesses grow. We hope to roll this program out across other states in the future.
Olympic legend Michael Johnson & former Minister for Sports Kate Lundy checking out the latest Tennis digital appSports Tech showcased at our Sporting Future Forum 
The Sports Tech Hub at the Australian Sports Commission’s Our Sporting Future Forum in April 2013 provided 15 ASTN members with the opportunity to demonstrate and promote their innovations to more than 500 delegates. The ASTN will be providing opportunities for ASTN members to showcase their sports tech at the Sports Without Borders Conference – a major national grass roots sports conference – in late April. More details on this opportunity  will be released over the coming weeks.
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