After recently celebrating its one-year anniversary, Birmingham, Ala.-based Influencer (INFLCR) has been selected for a prestigious start-up accelerator program that will connect the company to some of the most influential leaders in sports.
INFLCR is one of five companies selected — out of a field of more than 300 sport tech startups who applied from five different continents — for this fall’s cohort of the Stadia Ventures Accelerator Program.
“When we saw INFLCR, we were impressed with their platform and their traction,” said Tim Hayden, co-founder and managing director of Stadia Ventures. “And then we became more excited when we learned about their founder’s previous entrepreneurial experience and the vision for INFLCR. Our network of senior sports leaders are waiting to help accelerate INFLCR through the Stadia Accelerator’s Fall 2018 cohort.”
From the Stadia Ventures website, the program is described as follows:
“Stadia Accelerator helps established sports & eSports startups get to the next level through the combination of up to a $100,000 equity investment, intensive mentoring, and connections to the top sports & eSports business executives in the country. We leverage our network of industry executives that include senior leaders at teams, leagues, sponsors, game developers, publishers, manufacturers, marketers, investors, business services, etc. We finish the delivery by helping companies close their next deal, land their next investment round, or find their exit partner. Our success is determined by our cohort’s financial success!”
INFLCR founder and CEO Jim Cavale will spend time in Dallas over the next 14 weeks, connecting and working with some of the top experts in the sports industry. In addition to a 6-figure investment in INFLCR, the Stadia program will connect Cavale’s company to a wide network of mentors, advisers and leaders across the nation both in the traditional sports and in the emerging, multi-billion dollar opportunity that eSports represents.
“Stadia has more than 200 advisers on their board and another couple hundred mentors,” Cavale said of the opportunity. “These are people who work in the front offices of professional sports teams, big-time college athletic departments, sports agencies that represent athletes and brands in sports, and private equity and venture capital firms that invest in sports businesses. It’s a really great group of advisers and mentors that Stadia has gathered.”
Cavale was introduced to a board member at Stadia through a representative of former New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez’s investment group. After an extensive application process, INFLCR made it to the top 12 which got Cavale a live pitch to a selection panel in Dallas earlier this year, before learning INFLCR had been chosen as one of the five members of Stadia’s newest cohort.
The other 4 members of the cohort, as described by Stadia Ventures, are:
Aireal (Frisco, Texas): Aireal is a geospatial AR-platform that allows digital content to be placed anywhere in the world instantly and interacted with through mobile technology as if it were part of the real world. Aireal has worked with the Dallas Mavericks, College Football Playoff, Discovery Channel, and more. http://aireal.io/
Blinder (Auckland, New Zealand): Blinder is a call scheduling and recording tool for PR managers. It allows them to provide great access to their ‘talent’, without compromising privacy or performance. Blinder is used by Olympic champions, Grammy winners, and teams from the Premier League of English football to the NCAA. https://blinderhq.com/
Outdoor Access (Richmond, Virginia): Outdoor Access is Airbnb for land and outdoor recreation. Their platform “Unlocks the Outdoors” by connecting landowners with outdoor enthusiasts for short term land rental for recreational activities like hunting, fishing, kayaking, and horseback riding. Since their 2016 launch, Outdoor Access has signed up nearly 3,000 members who have accessed 500+ listings and spent almost 10,000 days pursuing their outdoor passions. https://outdooraccess.com/
Rival.ai (Toronto, Canada): Rival.ai is an esports technology company that provides advanced industry standard scouting reports for teams, trainers & the betting community through the use of artificial intelligence. http://www.rival.ai/
INFLCR is a SaaS platform for sports team properties to store, track and deliver their content across their influencer network of athletes, coaches, former athletes, media, etc. Each influencer can access their personalized gallery of content on their INFLCR mobile app, which they can use to download and share specific content to their social media platforms, with all influencer user activity tracked back to an INFLCR dashboard for the sports team properties.
In its first year, INFLCR has signed and renewed software subscription partnerships with more than 20 college, high school and professional sports team properties, including iconic college sports team brands like the University of Miami Football and the University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball. The company also recently announced its first professional sports client, Birmingham Legion FC and is actively adding high-profile high school sports brands like St. John’s College High School and Hoover High School Football.
“It’s great for INFLCR to be introduced to a sports market like Dallas and I’m really excited about that,” Cavale said. “Building a great business takes building a great network of impactful people inside and outside of your industry. You’ve got to be intentional to do that. In addition to dozens of pro and college teams in the Dallas area, sports mammoths like the Big 12 Conference, Learfield, the PGA, College Football Playoff, Mark Cuban Companies and a flurry of sports initiatives started by Jerry Jones (ie. The Star).”
“You put me in Dallas over the next 14 weeks and I’m going to make as many fruitful connections as possible. I’m going to take advantage for that.”
Influencer (INFLCR) is a social media CRM that allows teams and leagues to efficiently distribute their digital assets across the social channels of their most effective brand ambassadors (student-athletes, coaches, recruits prominent alumni and fans) while being able to track and measure the reach and performance of the content at scale via a convenient dashboard. With INFLCR, teams can store, share and track their digital assets (game photos, videos, etc.) as they flow through the social media channels of their brand ambassadors. Learn more at inflcr.com
ABOUT STADIA VENTURES:
The Stadia Ventures Sports Accelerator helps sports and esports startups get to the next level through the combination of equity investment, intensive mentoring, and connections to the top sports and esports business executives in the country. This is the 7th accelerator cohort. Stadia Ventures is an early-stage, sports and esports-focused venture capital firm with an accelerator program. Since 2015, Stadia Ventures has invested from two funds in 30 portfolio companies. It is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Learn more at stadiaventures.com.