Dentsu has tied up with Scrum Ventures, a US venture-capital company, to promote the development of sports-based startups in Japan and internationally.
The agreement will see the two companies stage Sports Tech Tokyo, a programme that invites startups from around the world to pitch their ideas to investors, in Japan and the US next year. The application period lasts until 7 January.
A spokesperson for Dentsu said they hoped to attract startups supporting athletes' performance, the stadium experience and fan engagement. The spokesperson added that Dentsu was interested in in-stadium technologies "which lead to business development, rather than focusing on those for advertisements".
Dentsu said the initiative was designed to “provide opportunities to companies in need of open innovation”. Selected startups will receive mentoring over the course of the year-long programme, and will gain exposure to professional sportspeople and other specialists via a Sports Advisory Board.
Dentsu is inviting companies with an interest in innovation in the sports sector to join the initiative as partners. Dentsu noted that the Japanese government aims to expand the sports market from around 5.5 trillion yen (US$48.2 billion) to 15.2 trillion yen (US$133.4 billion) by 2025.