The Global Sports Innovation Center promoted by Microsoft (GSIC) and Actua, with the support of SPSG Consulting, joined forces to identify the most disruptive innovations and latest technologies from around the world in order to position Andorra at the forefront of technological innovation for winter and mountain sports as well as cycling.
As a result, 64 startups from 18 different countries presented their candidacy for the Andorra Sports Startup Challenge, a competition aimed at entrepreneurs able to contribute, with their technological innovation, to improving user experience and to “de-seasonalize” Andorra´s sports and tourism offer.
Following an exhaustive triage process, the experts from GSIC and Actua selected the 10 best emerging companies coming from 8 different countries (Switzerland, Argentina, Spain, USA, UK, France, Denmark and China) offering a wide range of solutions in different fields, with a strong focus on digital experiences, wearables, data analysis, hotel services, sponsor activation and digital infrastructure.
These startups were given the opportunity to present their solutions to the industry´s most relevant leaders at a special online event that took place on January 27th. In the end the jury, made up of distinguished professional from the global sports industry, chose a winner and two honorable mentions:
- Snow 51 (China): Winner
It is “the ski training ground”. A professional training and gym center, secure and open all the year, for urban ski lovers who want to learn, practice, improve and enjoy skiing in their neighborhood with friends and family. Its teaching system on ski-rugs allows for improvement 4 times faster than on snow. The education on ski-rugs, with video recording support, data analysis, exposure to social media and laser technology, provides an easy, problem free, learning experience, being the perfect catalyzer for lovers of the hospitality industry, sports and mountain tourism.
- MoonBikes (France) – Honorable mention
A company that is revolutionizing mobility on snow. MoonBikes reconceptualized the snowmobile experience and created electrical snow motorbikes, ultralight and silent, easily folded for transport, simple to use and affordable.
- Xeerpa (Spain) – Honorable mention
Xeerpa is a solution that can help identify lifestyles and preferences of users through the analysis of their social media accounts and offer them products and services in accordance with their likes and affinities. The detailed profile created by Xeerpa includes favorite brands, interests, hobbies, lifestyle, locations, comments, personality and much more.
The Minister for Presidency, Economy and Enterprise for the Government of Andorra and president of Actua, Jordi Gallardo, stated that “we are extremely pleased with the participation, quality of the proposals which made it to the final and perfectly responded to what we were looking for: improve user experience and de-seasonalize Andorra´s tourism and sports offer. The winning solutions are provided by consolidated companies and can be developed in the country with local stakeholders and even with international companies”.
The general director of GSIC explained that “the selection process was not easy due to the high level of quality of all the candidates, but we managed to reach our goal which was to find solutions that allowed the Andorran government´s sports advertising entities to interact with clients, get to know their preferences and add value to Andorra´s interest groups”.
As a prize, the winner will be incorporated into the Global Sports Innovation Center promoted by Microsoft and into the Andorra Sports Cluster, as well as a tourism visitor package to come and enjoy Andorra. In addition, the winner and the two honorable mentions will participate in a 3-month mentoring program offered by experts from GSIC, and Investors Day and business meetings with members of the Andorra Sports Cluster with the aim of exploring the possibility of carrying out pilot projects. The winners will also be able to exhibit their solutions at Casa de la Muntanya, Andorra´s Mountain Living Lab.
The 3-month mentorship program consists of 6 sessions (2 per month), where the startups will obtain more information on subjects such as sports marketing, investment and financing, sport as a digital business, social media strategies and Microsoft programs. This program will be opened to Andorran startups from the sector soon, forming a group of between 10 and 12 local and International startups.