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Scisports is stepping into a league of its own, as the provider of real-time data on football players has been named Sprout Challenger of 2017. The company participated in this year’s edition of the Challenger50 and ended up on top last Thursday. Three finalists got the chance to pitch their ideas during Challengernight at Pakhuis West in Amsterdam. And as a result, Giels Brouwer, founder of Scisports, took over the prestigious award from last year’s winner Hotelchamp.
Going a step further
Brouwer has been working on his system called the Sciskill Index since 2013. The technology is meant to enable the real-time assessment of football players’ qualities. It is achieved due to Scisports’ use of 3D cameras, which register entire football games. Because of this, the company goes a step further than other, comparable systems which also provide football clubs with data on its players.
The only objective worldwide player index
The SciSkill Index claims to be the ‘only objective worldwide player index’ that makes it possible to compare the quality of football players around the world. Every week, over 2000 matches in 210 leagues are analyzed by the SciSkill algorithm. From there, the quality of 350.000 football players is automatically adjusted in an index. For a more in-depth overview of what Scisports’ technology is about, you can read the article on Scisports’ funding round of €1.8M, earlier this year.
The jury, consisting of Gijs Nagel (DeGiro), Erik de Heer (EY), Kristian Valk (Hotelchamp) and Philip Bueters (Sprout), handed over the award to Scisports because of the advanced technology that the company has developed. The technology is especially advanced when taking into account that Scisport’s market is very traditional.
Breaking the tradition
Bueters also commented on the company’s unique approach, stating the following: “Not only is the underlying technology superadvanced; by using artificial intelligence, deep learning and all the other things that investors currently have a craving for, Brouwer and his team break through a very conservative market that is known for using almost outdated technologies. Scisports brings a fresh perspective to the table. Scisports could become a world player in a niche market that is worth a billion.”
An unexpected day
Scisports has also had a bit of bad luck recently. Brouwer commented on this after winning the award: “Actually, I didn’t really expect to win the award. The day started off bad, as all of the laptops at our office had been stolen. And then you suddenly become the Sprout Challenger of 2017 on the same day. Winning this award almost made me forget this bit of bad luck.”
Off to a good start
“However, we are still working on realizing a dream. While Scisports can be called a ‘scaleup,’ the video project is only 2,5 years old. The award is especially cool for my co-workers, as it is proof of the good work they are doing. I’m not going to brag about winning the award, but it will get a very nice spot in the office. I also think it will get an honorary spot during the Christmas festivities, to show that more people believe in our dream.”