The Swedish Olympic Academy launches sports and innovation initiative

By on February 26, 2019

We share our jogging achievements, put sensors in our shoes, and keep track of every heartbeat. Technology is an increasingly important tool for the athlete in reaching their full potential. Today, the Swedish Olympic Academy launches a new initiative to strengthen sports innovation in Sweden.

The Swedish Olympic Academy (SOA) is a foundation founded by the Swedish Olympic Committee, KTH, Karolinska Institute and the Stockholm School of Economics. Together with the international organization HYPE Sports Innovation, SOA now launches Spin Accelerator Sweden, an accelerator program with focus on sports innovation. The program is an initiative where academia, the sport community and the startup tech sector meet at a global scale.

Focus on the individual athlete

The program is powered by KTH Innovation and the Center for Sports and Business at the Stockholm School of Economics, with the aim of contributing to new solutions that can help both elite athletes and the average gym-goer reach new heights. Focus lies on the athlete.

– It doesn’t matter which gender you identify as, if you’re an elite athlete or a recreational jogger, the important thing is that each individual should be able to reach their full potential. That’s why we chose the athlete as the theme of the program, says Lisa Ericsson, Head of KTH Innovation.

Innovation and a global network

Stockholm is a global center for innovation, and number three in Europe within sportstech (KPMG). Connecting this with the world’s largest, global ecosystem for sports and innovation is what will give the participants an edge.

– We are convinced that the Swedish sports sector will develop both in terms of knowledge and practical implementation, as innovation and technology become fully integrated into the sports movement, says Martin Carlsson-Wall, Director of the Center for Sports and Business at the Stockholm School of Economics.

The power of sports and innovation

Some of the world’s leading sportstech universities, including Loughborough University in Great Britain, join the initiative. Nir Bin Lavi, Managing Investor and CEO of HYPE US, who visited Stockholm for the launch, says:

– I believe we can do great things together here in Stockholm to impact people’s lives through sports and innovation.

A place in the global innovation ecosystem

Despite its size, Sweden is ranked as the fourth best sporting nation in the world counted per capita (, and the third best in the world when it comes to innovation (Global Innovation Index 2018).

– Stockholm holds unique expertise when it comes to developing new tools for the individual, for better results and for more inspiring workouts for all. The Swedish Olympic Academy was founded to gather this competence. To fully achieve our ambitions, we need to take our place in the global innovation ecosystem, says Stefan Lindeberg, CEO of the Swedish Olympic Academy.

Welcoming global applications

Startups from all over the world are invited to apply to one of the twelve spots in the program. During the spring, the startups will meet both in Stockholm and online to develop together, before the finishing Demo Day in June. The program is supported by Vinnova, the Swedish government agency that administers state funding for research and development.

Helena Olofsson, Training & Health