The Small Business Intersection of Sports, Entertainment and Learning
sports education small business

Small business and education, a new field for ideation

Ever since I was a professional soccer player while pursuing my education degree, I always wanted to merge sports and education.

That is also why I decided to invest two years of my life to be certified as a professional soccer coach and then embark on the development of edtech edupreneurship as the answer for accelerated transformation in education.

I am now witnessing how technology is coming to a point where developments in sports become meaningful in education and vice versa. I am convinced that the small business intersection of sports, entertainment and education will become the most impactful field in the future.

We still are early in the learning browser battle. While there are video and game film “browsers”, wearable wrist-worn and phone app browsers, data visualization and computer vision browsers, genetic analysis browsers, hydration browsers, there is no single window into the learner.

During the initial phases of internet, the search engine companies did the hard work of indexing and aggregating content. There will be a new space for companies willing to integrate and aggregate learning content.

Last summer I joined a group of Investors, academics and entrepreneurs in a visit to Silicon Valley to get exposure on some of the leading new concepts that are transforming our world with Technology.

To me the best way to envision the future of education is by connecting with the sports industry, entertainment and health. One of the most fascinating experiences we found on that trip was Twitch. An online live-video streaming service that is freely available to anyone. www.twitch.com

An individual content page is called a Twitch channel. The channels are categorized by the type of content they are showing. For example, all channels that feature content from any particular Game can be found within their own category.

They are streaming live video from their home computer directly to Twitch’s website. They can stream anything they want. Viewers watching this channel can type any text that the streamer can see. This allows the streamer to respond to their audience in realtime. Viewers can also see what other viewers type, and can interact with each other. This is one of the most important features of Twitch that makes it unique from traditional broadcasting.

In traditional broadcast, viewers are not aware of each other. On Twitch, viewers can not only chat publicly on channels, but they can also chat privately through a messaging system.This allows viewers to form groups based around specific types of content, and can help streamers align their channels with these groups.

Services like Twitch are changing the way viewers are consuming video content. Audiences will expect features that provide more interactivity, not just with the content they’re watching, but also with other audience members. In the future, live entertainment such as sports and news will be consumed in this way, in my view this has also to take on education.

Why not give these digital audiences a platform to participate on creating, building, sharing and assessing knowledge?

It will reduce the cost of content production and build strong connections with the academic talent, with need in the workforce and will provide better access to those that currently do not have quality learning experiences.

As Sports Innovation Lab has pointed out: For decades, global technology companies like IBM, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle have been using professional sports as a marketing platform – a way to tell stories to consumers about the agility and speed of their products and services.

Sports sponsorship has also allowed global consulting companies like KPMG, Deloitte, and Accenture that align with sports to communicate their precision, strategic vision, and leadership.

Sports is recognized globally as the greatest story telling platform, it’s has connected with brands and broad audiences in a way that education needs to learn.

The rise of distributed media platforms, social media, and mobile technologies make sports, the last live must-see event. Sport is the last appointment television – a marketer’s last chance to sync their message with the right audience at the right time.

Sports Innovation Lab 

In its very nature, education shares that live impact when a learner and its interests meet. But it certainly lacks the engagement, the community, the audience, and the excitement. That is why I actively work with edupreneurs around the world who are trying to bring these elements into education.

But education has also many different elements to take into consideration. I have learned over the last decade, that achieving a balance between pedagogy, technology and business is one of the most challenging elements of a successful edtech endeavor.

Education statistics will eventually demand more integration from content, engagement, distribution and assessment. Demonstrating and measuring relevant learning is beginning to change, as new formats of learning experiences become common.

I recently created a workshop at the Congress for Education Innovation at Tec de Monterrey, where we discussed some of the elements that the Nordic countries have embraced to transform learning, to build a more democratic society and to ensure gender issues are taken care of since early childhood.

These perspectives gave birth to innovative learning platforms like itslearning.com where engagement, distribution, communication and the role of the different audiences involved in learning is actively promoted. The statistics and reporting achieved on this platform enables a much better learning process.

During the past few years I have been exposed to a number of global edupreneurs and edtech solutions and the  beginning of 2018 starts with positive belief that its time is finally coming.

I remain focused at:

  • Bring together emerging edtech and established academic institutions. Both are necessary to accelerate education innovation.
  • Make sure the voice of students, parents, teachers and enterprises are represented so novel concepts are grounded in the realities of current and future learning models.
  • Share best practices, new formats and assessments from around the world.
  • Amplify the student’s voice.
  • Build a technology, business and academic community able to bridge concepts from all perspectives
  • Provide on-going access to a broad network of advisors, Universities, investors, and education thought leaders.

Finally, I want to share a few interesting endeavors that I have been involved with:

Hilo Negro:

Born from grassroots education video games applications, has evolved to produce the next learning experiences: a rally for education! This format enables a 48 hour engaging and collaborative experience that exposes students to most of the relevant skills required to succeed in our world. The merge of sports and education begins to take place here.

The growth of rally learning experiences provides opportunities to learn about the future of student engagement in flexible blended spaces. Its dependency on collaboration and digital communications tools makes it a fantastic space for multi-disciplinary learning, maker activities and physical activity, designing cutting edge games and reaching across physical borders and cultures to create the future of learning.

Next page- Knotion, Matific and Edusynch

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