A Harpswell company that uses artificial intelligence to analyze players’ performance in sports competitions is one of ten startups selected for a new accelerator program aimed at strengthening Maine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator said on Tuesday that it had selected Omnic Data, eight other US companies and one from Chile. The companies were selected from an area with hundreds of teams applying for the 13-week program where they can refine their business models and interact with other entrepreneurs, faculty and potential investors.
The accelerator, which started operations on Monday, is a collaboration between the Roux Institute at Northeastern University, a Portland-based graduate school and research centerand Techstars, a Colorado-based starting accelerator with more than 24 seats. The Portland accelerator is the second in New England after Boston.
“Our goal is for these companies to build a deeper relationship with the state, the Roux Institute and the Northeastern, and they retain part of their team here,” said Chris Wolfel, the institute’s head of entrepreneurship.
Techstars invests in companies that go through the program and owns a small share of ordinary shares, says Lars Perkins, CEO of Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator. The goal is to attract companies at an early stage that easily accept mentorship.
For Shaun Meredith, co-founder of Omnic, this means using the accelerator to attract prospective players, including students. The fast-growing sports market is valued at more than $ 1 billion, according to Statistics. That market is currently dominated by semi-professional and professional players who can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars each per season and millions as a team, plus recommendations. That makes raising your game a must for players, Meredith said.
“But no one knew what he was going to measure,” he said. That is why he founded the company 18 months ago.
Omnic’s service uses machine learning and computer vision to analyze the player’s movements so that it can, for example, tell them if it would give them a better chance of winning by moving the game slightly to the right. The Roux Institute focuses on teaching artificial intelligence, so Meredith hopes that contacts made with the accelerator will help him exploit the talent of the workforce in the future.
He also expects to find some synergies with other accelerator companies such as Breathing.ai, a New York launch with a product that helps people interact healthier with their computer.
“There’s a lot of burnout in esports,” Meredith said.
The Roux Institute announced its opening with great fanfare in January 2021 and said it would do so invest $ 100 million and attract up to 4,000 students to become an innovation hub for the state. The Harold Alfond Foundation kicked in an additional $ 100 million, of which $ 63 million will be used for scholarships in the coming decade. The institute recently said it is buying the iconic B&M baked beans factory near Interstate 295 in Portland for its new campus.
The accelerator program will end on December 9, when companies will set up their companies for community members, mentors and potential investors. Among the other companies are those that are focused on simplifying childcare, simplifying medical billing, improving data collection tools for patient care and reinventing how people pay rent.