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Mentoring program aims to get Victorian sports tech industry into the big leagues

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 | By StartupSmart

The Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) has launched a new mentoring and connecting program to help Victorian sports manufacturing, product and design companies tackle the global sports consumer market.


The program, supported by the Victorian Government’s Manufacturing Productivity Networks program, follows on from ASTN’s innovation master class and annual conference that featured leading startup academics Steve Blank and Jerry Engel.


ASTN executive director Craig Hill says sports technology is a $300 billion market, but Australia is only exporting around $300 million, just 0.1% of global demand, despite the nation’s reputation as a global sports leader.


“One of the challenges faced by the Australian sports technologies industry is that we have a small population and are a long way from large sports consumer markets,” Hill says.


“As observed by Steve Blank, Australia provides a great test-bed for sports innovation and market validation. However, our sports tech businesses need to be looking to build for global markets from day one; otherwise they are likely to die in a market of just 24 million people. Or as Mr Blank phrased it they need to be ‘born global or die local’.”


Blank recommended that the industry develop a playbook to help entrepreneurs learn from similar experiences. It’s that idea that underpins the ASTN Sports Product Export Program.


The five components of the program will be delivered over a three-year period and include, Sports Export master classes, Sports Export Readiness Program, a Sports Export Acceleration Program, a UCLA Global Access Program, and a Sports Innovation and Commercialisation Program for universities and research institutions.


If you’re interested in taking part in any of the components, contact Hill on by January 23, 2015.

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