Early-Stage Mentoring

Applications for cohort 7 are now closed with the program to start in mid-April 2024.

ASTN-GSIC Pre-Accelerator Program

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The Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) in partnership with Global Sports Innovation Center (GSIC) powered by Microsoft is to deliver 'The Business of Sport' Sportstech Pre-Accelerator Program.

The program is a 10-week cohort-based pre-accelerator educational program consisting of 6 modules. Two sessions will be conducted each week for a total of 20 sessions. A core focus of the program will support start-up entrepreneurs to validate their on or off-field sportstech business idea against competitors, vendors and VCs.

Based on fielding a number of applications for its well-established accelerator which were deemed "too early", the ASTN identifies a need to work with tech entrepreneurs, students, researchers and practitioners to address the three common themes that appear only to get limited attention early on:

  1. Customer discovery,
  2. Market/competitor analysis,
  3. Business models.

In between each module, participants will have the opportunity to "Learn From the Best" by participating in interactive Q&A sessions with founders and leaders of leading international and Australian sports businesses who 'have been there, done that'.

Based on the idea that sport is an application rather than a sector, technology applications including software/apps, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, advanced manufacturing, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, augmented/virtual reality, 3D-printing, advanced materials, genomics & life sciences (including biotech & medtech) as well as autonomous systems are welcome to the ASTN-GSIC program. As such, The Business of Sport Pre-Accelerator program looks to welcome themes like fin-tech, cyber-security, health-tech, facility & infrastructure, media, broadcasting and government as they find application in sport.

Priority access funding partners:


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Inaugural funding partner:

How will it be delivered?

The cohort will be delivered online. Each selected participant will have access to the Microsoft TEAMS platform for mentor interaction, content and program delivery as well as for an additional period after the program is completed.

In addition to ASTN's domain experts, other specific industry specialists include GSIC powered by Microsoft, Findex, Visory (finance), Madgwicks (law), Mik and Joe Creative (marketing) and Sports Tech World Series (market research and validation) who actively support program delivery.

Who can apply?

This Pre-Accelerator Program is open to start-up founders, entrepreneurs with an athlete, practitioners or research background or intrapreneurs of sports organisations or businesses who have a technology-based idea, considering establishing a business or developing a minimal viable product.

Suitable applicants from Queensland (female founders) and Western Australia will have priority access to this program, but applications from other interstate-based entrepreneurs are also welcome. Applications for Cohort #7 are now closed.

Applications are encouraged from the following areas:

  • Software/apps
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Blockchain
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Robotics
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Augmented/Virtual Reality
  • 3D-Printing
  • Advanced Materials
  • Genomics & life sciences (including biotech & medtech)

Testimonials of Participants

"I recently completed an MBA and this program was superior to the entrepreneurial unit."

"The program was very organised. Especially it was very challenging to keep the participants engaging through an online platform - but the organisers did that very well. Also the best part - everyone was very helpful and easily accessible."

"Thank you very much. Today's session was invaluable to me. I saw the comment, and I'll use that in my client presentation."

"I thoroughly enjoyed the program. There were members from all different levels, and I am sure everyone got value. I will recommend to anyone looking to start in the tech field and sport."

"Thanks for today - was great info about testing - will be very helpful!"

"The online delivery was very convenient and overall it was a very well-organised program with a good variety of guests and well-sequenced and organised topics."

"The openness and access to the founders and guest speakers for offline conversations, advice, introductions, and guidance was incredible."

“My colleagues and I have already recommended the ASTN to other startup connections.“

“Every single session has delivered enormous value. It is particularly powerful hearing from people doing it for real (rather than professional educators)."

Feedback from our guests

“It is always a great pleasure to be part of the program – looking forward to supporting you in the future again."
GSIC Guest Mentor from Microsoft

"Delighted to contribute to the ASTN-GSIC and support aspiring entrepreneurs."
Content Delivery Partner

"Great discussion with founders – interesting startups.“
Partner at VC Firm – Guest at Fireside Chat

"Glad to help and contribute. Happy to take a call from any of the attendees."
CEO & Founder – Learn-form-the-Best Panellist

Key Dates - Applications for Cohort 7 are now open with the program to begin mid April 2024. 

Friday 12 April 2024 - Applications close.

15 April 2024 - Interviews (if required) and cohort selection.

18 April 2024 - Learning platform setup (Teams) and cohort onboarding.

22 April 2024 - Program delivery commences with Session 1.

27 June 2024 - Program delivery ends with Session 20.

31 July 2024 - Learning platform (Teams) access ends.

If you require further information, please contact the ASTN at info@astn.com.au.

Delivery Partners