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NBA Crowdsource Tech Solutions With Launchpad Initiative

T
he National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Launchpad encourages companies and entrepreneurs to submit innovations to help advance “top basketball priorities across all levels of the game.”

The research and development platform will seek innovations on four key areas: Elevating health and wellness in youth basketball, enhancing youth player performance, innovating ankle injury prevention and recovery, and advancing referee training and development.

Speaking on USA Today, NBA executive vice president, basketball strategy and analytics, Evan Wasch, said they don’t care where it comes from, but they want tangible solutions.

“We don’t care if it comes from a big company that has invested heavily in the space,” Wasch said.

“We don’t care if it comes from an entrepreneur, an academic- anyone who has a tangible product or technology that can advance these priorities, we’re open to,” he said.

The program, which was officially launched yesterday, will have successful applicants participate in a six-month research and development pilot “within the NBA’s platform of elite and grassroots programs.”

According to the NBA, during the pilot, applicants will receive “access to NBA resources, hands-on support and other unique incentives to develop the future of basketball-related technology.”

SportsPro Media report that G League, Basketball Africa League, Women’s National Basketball Association and Jr. NBA will all be participating in the scheme.

In a statement on the launch, Evan Wasch said: “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.”

Applications for the program opened at the launch on 1 June and will close on the 31st of August.