Innovation Challenge: Meet Team 11

Ahead of the Innovation Challenge Demo-Day in Vienna on June 1st, Sportradar is to sit down with each of the competing teams to find out their views about the competition so far and how they’re feeling about the all-important final.

First up, we speak to Kai Jonas and Xaver Dopperlinger – two students at the University of Vienna as part of the Erasmus Mundus Global Studies programme – who together make up Team 11.

The two friends hope their idea for a virtual reality training application will see them land the overall prize and have been impressed by the programme so far.

What are your feelings about the Innovation Challenge so far?

We’ve learnt a lot, it’s been great to speak to the mentors and exciting to go into the next phase and have the opportunity to pitch our idea.

Can you describe your passion for sports and data?

I [Kai] have quite a big passion for tennis, I used to play at quite a high level when I was younger, and our idea actually has a little bit to do with that and datawise I’m always trying to get one over my friends so if I can pull out stats and act like I’m knowledgeable then that’s great.

A lot of people are striving for self-optimisation in one way or another so having access to your own data and that of professional athletes allows you to compare and improve yourself and that’s what it’s all about I guess.

What have you liked about the challenge so far?

It’s quite a personal relationship with the mentors, we’ve had intensive coaching throughout the whole day, were provided with food and drinks so it’s been great. It’s also great to meet likeminded people – we’ve all come here for a reason and we’ve all got different ideas so it’s really good to learn from each other particularly when there are so many international participants.

We also learned a lot about what opportunities there are in Sportradar’s innovation team – we learned from one mentor about how they operate kind of like a startup within a bigger company so that was quite interesting and also to learn of the real technicalities behind data collection and technical analysis and what Sportradar are doing with their various partners.

How have the mentors helped you?

It’s very easy to get carried away with your ideas and try to achieve things that are not necessarily possible so the mentors do a really good job in terms of grounding you and giving their views having worked in the field. The best advice was to keep the whole idea as precise as possible and not get carried away.

Which challenge did you pick?

We chose Envision the Future: Sports Data without Limits. It’s because we’re both fans of new technologies so it’s fascinating to see how the future is going to look. We tried to come up with something visionary I guess.

When we found out about the opportunity with Sportradar, we discussed what concepts we liked, particularly for us we were interested in mixed reality and augmented goggles so we thought about ways we could use that technology in a sports context.

What work do you have to do before the final?

We need to refine a few things – it’s been great to speak to the coaches and learn from their experiences. They’ve given us a few things to evolve our idea so we’ve got a bit to do but we’re looking forward to it.

Would you recommend the Innovation Challenge to others?

Sure, it’s free of charge so come and apply – try it for yourself.

For more information, visit the Innovation Challenge website.

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