New pre-accelerator to kick-start sports-tech ideas in Ireland

27 Aug 2021

Image: © WavebreakmediaMicro/

Launched by Resolve Partners and ArcLabs, SportX will help founders of sports-tech start-ups in the south-east of Ireland.

A new pre-accelerator programme for founders with sports and wellness start-up ideas in south-west Ireland has been launched by Resolve Partners and NDRC at ArcLabs Fund.

SportX will see founders with early-stage companies or start-up ideas meet customers, mentors and guest speakers over six days between mid-October and the end of November.

With a focus on technological innovation in the sport and wellness industries, SportX participants will be guided by industry leaders to better understand entrepreneurship in the sector and identify appropriate sources for support. Applications for the programme are open between 30 August and 1 October.

The programme will be delivered by consulting team Resolve Partners in association with ArcLabs, Waterford Institute of Technology’s fitness facility WIT Arena, and UPMC Ireland. Resolve Partners has run many pre-accelerator programmes in Ireland before and the partnership gives it access to significant resources such as the UPMC Sports Medicine Clinic at WIT Arena.

Aisling O’Neill, manager at ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre, said: “ArcLabs represents a unique ecosystem of entrepreneurship, bringing together world-class infrastructure, knowledge, skills and networks to assist people with interesting ideas to start and scale business opportunities and a pre-accelerator programme is the perfect place to validate those ideas and bring them to life.”

SportX is supported by NDRC at ArcLabs Fund, which has investors such as Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland’s seed and early-stage equity fund, Suir Valley Ventures, South East BIC, Centrica Innovations, and the county councils of Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford.

Gary Leyden, director of NDRC at ArcLabs, said that the programme builds upon the successful regional accelerator scheme supported by Enterprise Ireland. He added that the goal of the programme is to find “the next generation of sports-tech entrepreneurs who can leverage the amazing enterprise and sports-related supports within the south-east of Ireland.”

Resolve Partners is an Irish entrepreneurship consulting team led by David Scanlon, Dermot Casey, Angela Duffy and Alan Costello. It has worked for five years in the start-ups sector helping founders of tech, finance, energy and medical companies with strategy and management.

Updated 6.58pm, 27 September 2021: This article was updated to clarify that the SportsX accelerator is supported by NDRC at ArcLabs Fund, which has no affiliation to the Government-backed NDRC led by Dogpatch Labs.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic