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The STA Startups is an awards which celebrates the outstanding young technology businesses in the sports sector.
Finding Tomorrow’s Best Sports Tech Today

From super-early stage startup, to established scaleup, if you are an exciting, dynamic and disruptive young company, set on improving sport, The Startups are for you.

You will compete in a two-stage process; initially we will celebrate winners in a variety of categories, with each receiving siginficant publicity and industry promotion. This will enable them to create increased awareness with our network of global decision makers in sports brands, technology companies, international federations and sports organizations. These winners will then be invited to compete for the title of The Sightline Ventures STA Startup of the Year. This accolade also secures a prize of US$50,000 / £40,000 worth of strategic advice and investment support.


Within each category, you will be invited to indicate the precise sector in which you operate; these sectors will determine the final categories e.g. ‘Early-Stage, Broadcast’.

These sectors are Broadcast, Commercial Performance, Elite Sports Performance, Esports, Fan Engagement, Fitness and Mass Participation and Venue Technology.If none of these reflect your core business, you will have an opportunity to state an alternative.

Please select a category to find out more

Early-Stage Startup of the Year

This award celebrates early-stage start–up companies. To qualify you must have achieved a minimum viable product (MVP), and can demonstrate early commercial validation (i.e. your annual revenues are £100,000 to £500,000 / US$125,000 to $650,000).

Established Startup of the Year

This award celebrates established start-up companies. To qualify you must have achieved product / market fit (PMF) and can demonstrate increased commercial momentum (i.e. your annual revenues are £500,000 to £2,000,000 / US$650,000 to US$2,500,000).

Scaleup of the Year

This award celebrates scale-up companies. To qualify you must be delivering consistent revenue growth (i.e. your annual revenues exceed £2,000,000 / US$2,500,000).

Super-Early Stage Startup of the Year

This award celebrates super-early stage start-up companies. To qualify, you must have developed a beta product that is currently being used / tested by end users (i.e. you don’t have revenues or have very low revenues).

Prize Details

Win US$50,000 / £40,000 Advisory
Thanks to Sightline Ventures, the dedicated sports technology growth partnership business, The STA Startups is delighted to offer a prize of US$50,000 / £40,000 worth of advisory services, from Sightline Ventures,to the overall winner.
Often young businesses struggle to access high-level advice, networks and mentoring but Sightline Ventures’ support will provide this.

The process to determine the winner is a rigorous, two-stage process. Initially, winners will be chosen in the categories indicated by our expert judging panel. Each winning company will then be awarded a coveted STA Startups trophy, along with significant promotion to our industry network.

All winning businesses will then be invited to participate in a live pitch to a smaller judging panel, the winner of which will be announced as The Sightline Ventures STA Startup of the Year. As well as their additional trophy, the winner will receive US$50,000 / £40,000 worth of advisory services from Sightline Ventures.

Category winners will be revealed via The Startups’ traditional online video stream, whilst the overall winner will be revealed separately, following the live pitch.

Why You Should Enter

Whilst the opportunity to win $50,000-value of high-level advice, networks and mentoring is hugely compelling, there are other, important reasons to enter The Startups.

The sports sector is a crowded space for start-up businesses so creating a commercial point of difference is crucial. Here’s how we help you do that…

Our Judges

Ensure industry experts find out about your brand - simply by entering. Our judges are people your business wants to engage with, and they want to see what you do. By entering, you are giving your brand a first-hand chance to impress them.

Shortcut to Commercial Success

Successful brands from previous Awards report that success in The Startups converted into tangible commercial results, including reduced sales cycles and higher-level investment discussions and opportunities. If you too are looking for a similar business advantage, seriously consider an entry for your brand.

Opportunities for Exposure

Entering the Awards also gives you the opportunity to engage with The STA Group’s global network, meaning you have the chance to be seen by a unique and engaged network which includes some of the most significant figures of the sector. This means global decision makers in sports brands, technology companies, international federations and sports organizations will be seeing what you do.

2020 Judges

Committed to innovation in sports

The Startups are serious about honest, authentic and authoritative scrutiny and this is reflected both by the outstanding profile of our judging panel and the process by which entries are judged.

All first-stage judging is completed online, independently of and without reference to any other scorer; each judge marks every element of the entry form, then submits a total score for each entry. In the case of a tie, at least one other judge is asked to evaluate these in the same way to determine the winner.

Alex Stone FIFA Group Leader, Digital Channels, FIFA

Ama Agbeze Athlete (netball), mentor, ambassador, speaker, mediator, advisor

Anne Kelly Aikman Senior Advisor Commercial, Global Esports Federation

Austie Rollinson Principal and Chief Designer, Rollinson Golf

Benjamin Stoll Director of Strategic Alliances & Innovation, FIFA

Benson Mensah-Bonsu EMEA Sports Partnership Solutions Manager, Twitter

Garth Shephard Partner at Sightline Ventues, and owner Fan19

Inam Mahmood Managing Director, Global Business Solutions (UK), TikTok

Winning third-party endorsement via the Awards means

Elevated Customer Conversations

Winning a Startup Award makes you a frontrunner amongst your peers. Being seen by industry leaders, influencers and potential investors opens vital doors to conversations you wouldn’t have had before.

Reduced Sales Periods

Making sales is easier when your brand has elevated visibility in the industry. Knowledge of your success benefits your reputation as well as market interest.

Staff Recruitment and Retention

Recognition of the hard work your team put in goes to show that the effort hasn’t gone to waste. A win will only drive your team to further success.


Investors want to support the strongest brands in their sector – a Startup Award marks you as one of those brands.

Our Testimonials

For us, it’s a great achievement – we’re a niche company where in other places we may not shine as brightly, but here we’re given fair representation. It feels great to be able to get recognition for our hard work.

Hassan RajwaniCEO and Co-Founder, REFSIX

This is a really important win for us as we’d like to broaden our business overseas and globally. This is a great opportunity to show our technology to the world.

Maria Lodolo D'OriaPresales Executive, Metaliquid

It’s always fantastic to get third-party validation, and for experts and peers to assess your work whilst getting a chance for big brands to see your products.

Jim LawFounder and CEO, Find a Player

Entering is Easy

Create an Account

Follow the link on this page, register your details and create an account. Here you will be able to manage all your entries for this year’s awards.

Select Categories

Choose the category that best fits your business.

Fill in the Form

The form takes you through a series of questions, which ensure our judges are fully informed about your work.


Submit your entry fee payment online – and you’re done!

Our Previous Winners

2020’s winners are listed below, for more information please visit our Past Winners page.

Follow The STA Group on LinkedIn

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Our mission is to provide the industry with key insights into sports technology. Sign up to hear more about what we do, and what’s going on in the sector.