Technology now enables clubs, fans and brands to tell stories better than ever before.


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As a young entrepreneur in the 1990s, Amir Ravi had no one to talk to about the challenges his company faced. This is one of the reasons why we founded HIP Sports Innovation by creating a platform that connects founders, investors, mentors and sports brands. His vision is to combine sports and technology to impact lives around the world. Raveh explains that sports can bring people together in unique ways, and new technologies make it easier than ever to share exciting sports stories. HYPE had to partner with top sports brands to help founders and startups in the sports field. With those connections, founders can help get to the top and help larger teams and companies find the best innovations. Areas they are working on include engaging with fans in the Metaverse, creating NFTs, and providing new gameplay perspectives.

Tell me a little bit about yourself, how you got introduced to this whole world of sports and what is the creative vision of HYPE Sports.

I strongly believe that one way to share the story of HYPE and share any kind of vision is through stories. Recently, when I was five years old, my grandfather – who was a Beitar Jerusalem fan – took me to see the rival team, Hapol Jerusalem, when I was five years old, because that was the only game on the weekend. The match was Hapoel Jerusalem vs Hapoel Haifa. It was nil-nil, he said, “the most boring game in the world.” But for me, it was an unforgettable experience.

Now, 40 years later, I take my son to Germany, Bundesliga, to see FC Koln vs. Bayern Munich in Cologne. I’m saying, “Bloody hell hasn’t changed much since I was a kid.”

So later, together with Bernd Wahler, former CMO of adidas, we took HYPE Sports innovation to the next level. We had nine sports technology accelerators around the world.

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Aamir Ravi 20Aamir Ravi 20

Aamir Ravi, founder and president of HYPE Sports Innovation

(Photo: N/A)

What is your thesis around the potential for innovation and technology to merge with sport at that time? What is your role in this?

At that level, I saw that there was a gap, that there was an opportunity. There’s a lot of innovation around me, and I can’t really explain why there isn’t enough innovation in sports. Now, of course, with the new generation, they have to innovate to capture the next generation. And as an entrepreneur in the wrong way in the 50s, I thought maybe it was time to do something that I really loved.

My passion has always been sports and creativity. As an entrepreneur, I sold my business in 2003 and started investing in a small investment house. But I was looking to get back into my entrepreneurial role to create something, to make an impact, to drive something forward. With HYPE, what we found is to help entrepreneurs and startups and later invest, we have to have the other side. We need to have the brands as partners. We can work with them and enable them to use the best innovations. Once we have them as clients, we can bring them the best technologies and the best startups.

What is the platform that brings everyone together to allow this innovation to take place?

Our vision is to impact people’s lives through the power of sports and creativity. If you’re an entrepreneur, your biggest hurdle to getting off the ground is getting a pilot or commercial deal with a top-tier club. So that’s basically what we do.

With the pandemic, we launched GVA, the Global Virtual Accelerator. In one day, we closed all the physical accelerators and created this global platform, which, to be honest, is more effective. We have learned to work as a global community with mentors. We have nearly a hundred consultants from all over the world. We have investors, brands and of course startups. Each side of the platform can participate and value the other.

What are some of the things you’re excited about because innovation is happening in sports?

We are working this weekend to give you an idea. [July 30] Roma vs Tottenham Hotspur match. They are coming to Israel, to HAIFA, to Sami Ofer, where we created the I-Tech Cup. We have no league restrictions, so we can submit any creation we want. You can see the ball from the player’s angle. You can see it from the goalkeeper. We have a camera on the referee. We have NFT for fans globally to be able to engage, talk to each other.

How will this new virtual engagement enhance my involvement or engagement with my favorite team or player?

The full impact is yet to be seen. But since blockchain is a very real technology that brings a lot of unique value, I think this is the foundation that will help the web three continue to grow. Add to this a new monetization platform that never existed before for clubs, brands, federations. If you hold a Wembley Final ticket as an NFT and this NFT also gives you shop credit or access to something or another game at a discount or you can get this. As a note, maybe it’s something people can use.

We are making a scarf with some kind of NFC chip so that you can enter the game freely. It allows you to access more content. So now there’s a metaverse, and you can see there’s potential here to create something big. At HYPE, we want to move this industry forward, help power for good, and continue to build our businesses. We are a for-profit organization. We now have a portfolio of around 250 startups. And if possible, have a little fun on the way

This equity is basically an accelerator where you bring in those startups and you work with them and you create that platform for them, right?

yes. It started when I was an entrepreneur around 27 years old. your age. I remember when I started my own company in London, I had four pilots. At the fourth brand, Bank of Scotland, after a three-month pilot I got the answer: no. It felt like the end of the world and I had no one to talk to. It was 97. There was very little internet, if it existed. You need to call to talk to someone. It cost a lot. I had very few acquaintances in London. And I was really on my own. I remember walking across London Bridge and looking down. One of the reasons we created this forum for startups and founders is so that they don’t have to be on their own, to have other founders to talk to, to have mentors on different topics. Being on your own is something I would say had a very strong influence.

If you’re looking at the future of sports and innovation and technology, what are some of the things that particularly excite you as an entrepreneur?

It’s hard to predict how things will turn out. Especially with the younger generation. I know that sport has a special power to bring people together and a special power to do good. I want to watch sports in this case. If you consider the potential of Metavas in terms of equal opportunities. Not everyone can fly and watch the Champions League final. Allowing people to exercise, allowing people to communicate, reducing emissions with fewer people flying, there are so many good things that can happen.

Life is about telling a story. Tech now allows clubs, fans, brands to tell more stories than ever before. The ability to bring people together, even if you’re on your own with an empty fridge, technology has the ability to do that.

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Michael Mathias Michael Mathias

Michael Mathias

(Photo: N/A)

Michael Mathias, Forbes 30 Under 30, is a venture partner at Innovation Endeavors as well as an investment venture partner at Secret Chord and J-Ventures. He studied artificial intelligence and human computer interaction at Stanford University, and was an engineer at Hippo Insurance. Mathias previously served as an officer in the 8200 unit. 20MinuteLeaders is a technology entrepreneurship interview featuring one-on-one interviews with amazing founders, innovators and thought leaders who share their journeys and experiences.

Contributing Editors: Michael Matias, Megan Ryan


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