Dodgers accelerator accepting applications

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers and R/GA Ventures are taking applications for the second class of their sports and entertainment accelerator, aimed at industry startups.

"The overwhelming success of the Dodgers' first sports and entertainment accelerator opened our eyes to the profound impact that today's rising technology companies can have on sports," said Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten. "We're committed to bringing the best new experiences to our fans, and the best new technologies to our team. We also are excited to use the Dodger brand and our organizational reach to help these young companies grow."

"The ingenuity that the Dodgers and R/GA witnessed in the 10 companies selected to participate in the first accelerator has made our decision to continue the program an easy one," said Dodgers' Chief Financial Officer Tucker Kain. "The response we received for our first class from across the sports and technology industry was a strong validation of the value of the program and we look forward to continuing this momentum with the next class."

Five to seven startups will be selected, enabling in-depth engagement with the Dodgers' leadership, business units, and industry network as well as R/GA's strategic marketing, branding, design, and technology services. This approach resulted in partnership deals and soon-to-be-announced large capital raises for participants in the 2015 accelerator class.

Program areas of interest include (but are not limited to) integrated solutions in the areas of Fan Engagement, VR/AR, eSports, Sports Training, Smart Arenas, Big Data and Analytics, Fitness and Youth Sports, and Sponsor Integration. The program will again be operated and supported by R/GA.

"Startups from our inaugural class came out of the program with revitalized commercialization strategies and new partnerships that catalyzed their business models," said Stephen Plumlee, Global Chief Operating Officer, R/GA and Managing Partner of R/GA Ventures. "We are excited to bring our unique methodology and global network to a new class of startups innovating in the sports and entertainment space."

Growth-stage and early-stage startups from Los Angeles and around the world are invited to apply. Applications will be accepted beginning on March 29 through June 10, 2016. The program will take place in Los Angeles and will start on August 22, 2016, concluding in early November with invite-only demo events in both Los Angeles and New York, at which each startup will have the opportunity to present to investors, industry leaders, and the sports, technology, and entertainment communities.

For more information or to apply, visit www.dodgersaccelerator.com and follow @dodgersaccel.

Ken Gurnick is the Los Angeles Dodgers beat reporter for MLB.com. He has covered the Dodgers for 25 seasons.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.