Start-ups will next week be given the chance to showcase ideas for solving five big stadium challenges as part of a workshop organised by City Football Group (CFG).

The five-day workshop will be hosted at the Etihad Campus by CFG, which owns Manchester City and a number of other clubs around the world.

The purpose of the workshop will be to address challenges identified by CFG, with the best ideas to be given an opportunity for a short-term pilot. Start-ups’ ideas will be judged by an expert panel during the event.

More than 200 applications spanning 37 countries have been submitted for the project. Eleven finalists have been selected for the workshop, which will focus on five key pillars:

  • Sustainable Stadium – How to reduce waste, improve energy efficiencies and reduce carbon footprint
  • Easy Stadium – How to make match days quicker and easier by removing queues and improving access to services
  • Vibrant Stadium – How to leverage home advantage and engage the crowd even more in the action
  • My Stadium – How to provide each fan with a personalised experience
  • Global Stadium – Ensuring all supporters feel part of a family that isn’t constrained by physical location or time

Nuria Tarre, chief marketing officer at CFG, said: “Innovation is a key part of City Football Group’s DNA. Unearthing the next generation of start-ups and engaging a community which will provide tangible and specific solutions to Manchester City is something we are hugely passionate about.

“Manchester was the home of the industrial revolution, so we are excited to be part of its future as a major technology and innovation hub for the 21st century. By gaining fresh ideas and rethinking the way we approach a project, we strongly believe that the City Start-up Challenge will provide a world-class platform for innovation and creativity while allowing us to shape the future of the fan experience.”

CFG will be supported on the initiative by Sapphire Ventures. The two parties have jointly launched a first-of-its-kind, £115m (€129m/$146m) sports technology fund, Sapphire Sport.

CFG will also be aided by Manchester Metropolitan University and the Growth Company Services, which include GC Angels and GC Business Growth Hub as well as the Department for International Trade NW and MIDAS.

Image: Cléria De Souza