NBA Launchpad is a new platform through which startup companies and entrepreneurs can apply for R&D pilot funding to support the next generation of innovative sports technology
NEW YORK, June 1, 2021 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today the unveiling of NBA Launchpad, the league’s latest initiative to source, evaluate, and pilot emerging technologies that advance the NBA’s top basketball priorities across all levels of the game.
Starting today, companies and entrepreneurs can apply to NBA Launchpad by submitting innovations that address one of four priority areas: Elevating Health and Wellness in Youth Basketball, Enhancing Elite Youth Player Performance, Innovating Ankle Injury Prevention and Recovery, and Advancing Referee Training and Development.
“With NBA Launchpad, we can identify and support the next generation of innovative sports technology, continuing to advance our top basketball priorities and elevate our global game,” said Evan Wasch, Executive Vice President, Basketball Strategy & Analytics.
Following a rigorous evaluation process, selected applicants will participate in a six-month R&D pilot within the NBA’s platform of elite and grassroots programs. As part of NBA Launchpad, companies and entrepreneurs will receive access to NBA resources, hands-on support, and other unique incentives to develop the future of basketball-related technology.
NBA Launchpad is seeking submissions for innovations that address the following basketball priorities:
- Elevating Health and Wellness in Youth Basketball
Promoting a healthier grassroots experience for millions of boys and girls is a critical priority for the Jr. NBA program – the NBA and WNBA’s global youth basketball participation program. Developed in partnership with USA Basketball, the Jr. NBA’s Youth Basketball Guidelines highlight the benefits of youth basketball participation and provide age-appropriate recommendations and guidelines to reduce the risk of injuries, fatigue, and burnout. The NBA is looking for additional innovations that assist players, parents, coaches, and administrators in promoting a healthier grassroots basketball experience.
- Enhancing Elite Youth Player Performance
The NBA operates elite youth development programs domestically and around the world to identify and develop top basketball talent, including NBA G League Ignite, NBA Academies and Basketball Without Borders. To continue improving the quality of these programs, the NBA is searching for new products and services that enhance elite youth player performance.
- Innovating Ankle Injury Prevention and Recovery
Due to the prevalence of ankle sprains at all levels of the game and the negative impact on player health, availability, and performance, the NBA has undertaken a broad evaluation of ankle sprains, including publishing research, expanding data collection, and working with medical experts and key stakeholders to better understand and address these injuries. To supplement ongoing efforts, the NBA is seeking innovative approaches to further reduce the impact of ankle injuries.
- Advancing Referee Training and Development
Officiating an NBA game takes years of preparation and training at the highest level. Every year, the NBA trains and evaluates thousands of amateur referees all over the world. To strengthen these current programs, the NBA is seeking technologies that enhance the training, development, and recruitment of referees.
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