Microsoft opens the Global Sports Innovation Center in Madrid

  • The Global Sports Innovation Center (GSIC) is an unprecedented three-way collaborative initiative between private, public, and academic partners to support innovation in the Sports Industry across the world, as a driver of job creation and economic growth.
  • Created with the support of the Madrid Regional Government, powered by Microsoft and the strategic partners Barclaycard Center, Camilo Jose Cela University, Cigna, LG, Open Camp, Pivot Sport, Real Madrid, the partners Avanade, Barrabés Next, Bravent, Codicevi-Grafolometría, Cubenube, Easy Code Software, Esteban Consulting, Exovite, Face On, Fivan Neuro@Home Kalmaljit Europa, Mobile Solutions, Placeholder, Plainconcepts, The Capitals, The International Humans Company, Viobond, Viuing and the collaboration of Adidas, IDC and Keiretsuforum.
  • Backed by an initial investment of 17 million euros, it aims to serve as a business incubator for 50 startups and support 200 over a 5-year period.

Madrid, May 12, 2015. The Global Sports Innovation Center Powered by Microsoft (GSIC) opened its doors today, welcoming entrepreneurs, start-ups, and the community to this hub focused on developing collaborative technology solutions for the Sports Industry.

Located in the Barclaycard Center in the heart of Madrid, the GSIC will have a global reach and seek to become a strategic leader in addressing the challenges facing the Sports industry, as well as to create knowledge and add value to the sector.

Partners from private corporations, Universities, and Institutions will be able to engage with entrepreneurs to solve business challenges and unlock new opportunities and support supporting youth, small business, and the community in accelerating innovation in the Sports, Health, and Fitness and Sporting Event industries.

This new center is backed by an initial investment of 17 million euros from private equity, encompassing direct funding and indirect contributions. One of the main goals of the center is developing innovation projects with high potential, engaging interest from venture capital funds to raise additional funding.

The GSIC and its ecosystem aims to attract national and international funds of over 4 million euros during the first 5 years in terms of business, as well as direct and indirect jobs. Moreover, this hub aims at creating 50 startups during the first five years of operating, and support 200 of them through programs, including Microsoft BizSpark, training and coaching.

The center will focus on four areas of activity:

  • Promoting technological innovation for businesses. The GSIC will provide technological advice and training for businesses and institutions through its partners, as well as fostering collaboration in any sports-related business activity. Emphasis will be placed on the search for funding in order to finance the creation of startups or the development of sport R&D&I activities.
  • Fostering the development and creation of startups. SMEs and entrepreneurs working on sports projects will have access to mentoring programs, technical support from technology experts and specialists, together with access to and contact with big companies and multinationals in order to develop their projects. These startups will be provided with technological tools during the first years, free of charge.
  • Developing collaboration and contact between businesses and talent. The center will provide the facilities needed to bring sports-related companies, technology companies, entrepreneurs and universities together. It will promote the Government participation in MSIC initiatives, driving synergies with the different players of the Sports Industry.
  • Showcase for the latest devices and applications. The center will showcase the most innovative technological developments in the world of sport and technology, including cloud and mobile computing, IOT, and big data, providing businesses the opportunity to get real time audience and industry feedback on their solutions.

Developed in partnership with Microsoft Corporation and with the support of the Madrid Regional Government, the driver of activity at the GSIC is collaboration among its partners, combined with other companies from this business environment. Partner companies and organizations will contribute funding and be able to leverage all of the advantages that GSIC delivers to its members, as well as collaborate to solve business challenges. Initially the center will have the strategic partners Barclaycard Center, Camilo Jose Cela University, Cigna, LG, Open Camp, Pivot Sport, Real Madrid, the partners Avanade, Barrabés Next, Bravent, Codicevi-Grafolometría, Cubenube, Easy Code Software, Esteban Consulting, Exovite, Face On, Fivan Neuro@Home Kalmaljit Europa, Mobile Solutions, Placeholder, Plainconcepts, The Capitals, The International Humans Company, Viobond, Viuing and the collaboration of Adidas, IDC and Keiretsuforum. The center is open to big brands and SMEs alike, applying different entry fees according to the size of the organization. The goal is reach 50 partners during the first year.

The GSIC headquarters are located in new facilities, spread over three floors at the modern office building, the Madrid Barclaycard Center, owned by the Madrid Regional Government. This multi-purpose center receives a million and a half visitors a year. Two floors are reserved for exclusive use by members, where around 100 talks will be given each year, and there is also an area open to the general public. Visitors will be able to interact with the latest wearable technology in the fitness area, experience what it feels like to kick a football in a stadium like a professional player and enjoy football, F1 and NFL exhibitions, and also test themselves with Cigna Health, Sport and Technology experiences. The MSIC is expected to attract 36,000 visitors per year.

Opening of the Barclaycard Center

The GSIC has been officially opened today at the Barclaycard Center in Madrid. During the ceremony, Orlando Ayala, Microsoft CVP and Chairman, Emerging Markets, stated “The unique nature of this innovation center lies in the unprecedented collaboration between public, private, and academic institutions. Together, we aim to build a bridge between these partners, youth, and entrepreneurs in promotion of development of technology innovation within the Sports industry. By creating facilities such as this for applied research, collaboration, and innovation within today’s greatest technology trends such as ‘Internet of Things’ (IOT), cloud and mobile, we can generate business and job opportunities which add value to the whole community, here in Madrid and all over the world.”

Víctor Calvo-Sotelo, Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society for the Spanish Government, highlighted the “key role of public and private collaboration in the digital transformation of Spain”, and described the Global Sports Innovation Center as “an innovative and ambitious center, not only able to convert Madrid into a world reference regarding technological innovation, and becoming an open collaboration space between universities, companies and government. It will also push forward the entrepreneurship environment in a field with such high potential as sports”.

The Counselor of Education, Youth and Sport of Madrid Community, Lucía Figar, thanked Microsoft for “its leadership and for having selected Madrid to set this global pioneering center”. Figar noted that this sport and technology center “will find its best allies in Madrid”, thanks to its business infrastructure, “the quality of our Universities”, “the strength of our amateur and professional athletes”. Figar stressed that in Madrid Community, “entrepreneurs are finding more and more support and opportunities for their innovative projects”. Figar ended underlining “Madrid Community support to the Global Sports Innovation Center”, located in a facility “of reference in Europe”, that this month will host the Final Four Basket Euroleague

Camilo Jose Cela University is a strategic Partner of this Project, which we believe has a high potential for learning and entrepreneurship. We see the Global Sports Innovation Center as a hub for learning that brings together sport, technology and education. This combination will generate disruptive ideas to improve the environment of the Third Millennium youths. Technology will accelerate this innovation and make sport more accessible, as well as make it an even more personal experience”, said Nieves Segovia, President of the Educational Institution SEK – Camilo José Cela Universitu and SEK International Schools.

Iris Córdoba, Manager of the MSIC, added: “Challenges ahead the Sports Industry are huge, and R&D investment gives a competitive edge versus companies that ignore innovation. Many of entrepreneurs’ big stories arose in times of crisis or conquering those small customers left aside by the big companies. The success of MSIC lies on their partners’ capability to innovate and the ability to translate it into the Sports Industry chain value.”

Further information

Download photos, videos and all the media content from the opening of Global Sports Inauguration Center on the next link: http://1drv.ms/1cptwJK

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