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Dodgers want incubator on rolling schedule

Dodgers want incubator on rolling schedule

By Eric Fisher, Staff Writer

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The Los Angeles Dodgers Accelerator, one of the most notable business incubator programs in the sports industry, is potentially moving to a larger, more continuous operating model.

Founded in 2015, the program involving the Dodgers and partner R/GA Ventures has worked its first two years on a more seasonal model in which it has mentored chosen startups and growth-stage companies between August and November. Thus far, 15 companies have been selected for the program.

As a third iteration of the program is set to debut soon, club executives said the goal for the initiative is to not be tied to specific points on the calendar.

“We’re looking to … be less stringent about time, and make this a more rolling thing,” said Tucker Kain, Dodgers chief financial officer and managing director of Guggenheim Baseball Management. “There is still a ton of upside with this program, and we’re very pleased with what the initial companies have gone on to do.”

Indeed, several of the alumni companies from the Accelerator program have started to become household names in the industry and received larger rounds of funding. Data and analytics software provider Kinduct, for example, last year closed on a $9 million Series A investment led by Intel Capital. Point-of-sale platform Appetize, like Kinduct a first-year participant in the program, late last year completed a $20 million funding round involving Shamrock Capital Advisors and the Oak View Group led by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff.

Automated sports video production outfit Keemotion, a second-year participant, in August secured a $3.6 million Series A funding round that included former NBA Commissioner David Stern.

The Dodgers have remained involved with these and other Accelerator companies, primarily through the Elysian Park Ventures investment arm also operated by club owner Guggenheim. The last iteration of the Accelerator program involved an initial average investment of $120,000 per company in exchange for up to 6 percent equity.


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