Sixers and Kimball Office Launch Plans For Sixers Innovation Lab
THE WHARTON SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSLYVANIA, NEXTSTAGE CAPITAL, DREAMIT VENTURES, TECHSTARS, RENOWNED VENTURE CAPITAL FIRMS, BUSINESS ACCELERATORS, AND INDUSTRY LEADERS SIGN ON AS INNOVATION LAB ADVISORS
FIVE START-UPS WILL EACH RECEIVE SIXERS MARKETING SPONSORSHIPS AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO PITCH INDUSTRY-LEADING INVESTORS AND VENTURE CAPITAL FIRMS
PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 13, 2016 – The Philadelphia 76ers and Kimball Office announce plans to launch the Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball, which will be located in the Sixers’ business operations offices at the new 125,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art training complex in Camden, NJ. Start-up companies that impact the crossroads of sports and consumer products can apply to participate in the innovation lab beginning April 15, 2016. Selected companies will receive office space in the innovation lab furnished by Kimball Office; access to industry experts, executives, and financiers, as well as third-party consulting, legal, accounting, and business solutions services; and the opportunity to pitch industry-leading investors and venture capital firms. Selected start-ups also will have the opportunity to participate in core curriculum programs, including a speaker series and leadership training featuring executives from industry-leading companies. In addition, each of the selected companies will receive sponsorships from the Philadelphia 76ers to assist with growing their business’ marketing and customer base.
The goal of the Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball is to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit and foster innovation while connecting and energizing the business communities in southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, by attracting and retaining top-tier entrepreneurial talent to the region. The innovation lab will focus on attracting companies in the sports and consumer product space and will be open to talented and driven entrepreneurs across the world, while presenting start-ups with unique access and opportunities to succeed in the industry.
“As the Philadelphia 76ers organization eagerly awaits our move into a state-of-the-art basketball training complex, we thought it provided the perfect opportunity to include the Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball, to drive the entrepreneurial spirit that is at the very foundation of this region,” said Philadelphia 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil. “We are fortunate to have assembled an unmatched roster of partners that have deep and seemingly unending material relationships in sports, media, technology and consumer-facing businesses that will serve the early stage companies housed under our roof and provide every advantage to help these aspiring leaders fulfill their dreams.”
Applications to participate in the Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball will be accepted April 15 through September 30, 2016. For more information on the Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball, or to apply go to https://www.sixersinnovationlab.com/.
“We are very excited to partner with an innovative organization, with the history of the Sixers, who have the vision to change the course of their industry,” said Mike Wagner, Kimball Office President. “The Innovation Lab will further build on our systemic innovation, stretch our thought leadership in our industries, while strengthening the communities in which we live and operate.”
Participant companies will be vetted and selected by a board of governors, including executives from the Philadelphia 76ers: CEO Scott O’Neil, CRO Chris Heck, VP of Business Development Katie Grossman O’Reilly, Director of Strategy Akshay Khanna; Kimball Office President Mike Wagner and Director of Marketing Wendy Murray; Wharton Social Impact Initiative Managing Director Sherryl Kuhlman, NextStage Capital Co-Founder and Managing Partner Terry Williams and Sixers’ Patriot Partners: StubHub, DraftKings, and The Rothman Institute at Jefferson.
Selected start-up companies will have access to executive advisors, including representatives from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, NextStage Capital, Philadelphia-based DreamIt Ventures, Techstars, Touchdown Ventures, IBM Watson, Gabriel Investments, MentorTech Ventures, Stadia Ventures, 1871, and Sports Colab. Currently, the Philadelphia 76ers and Kimball Office are accepting advisory roles from legal and accounting firms, technological infrastructure firms, consulting firms, and more.
“The Wharton Social Impact Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania is delighted to participate in and support the Innovation Lab. Developing the entrepreneurship ecosystem in underserved communities such as Camden is important for the city and for economic development in the Philadelphia region,” said Katherine Klein, Vice Dean, Wharton Social Impact Initiative. “We look forward to working with Innovation Lab leadership to support entrepreneurs, to connect the Lab with the University and the broader community, and to support and document the Innovation Lab’s positive social impact.”
“We are excited and honored to partner with the Philadelphia 76ers, Kimball Office, The Wharton School, and the other partners of the new Innovation Lab. This initiative addresses a unique opportunity to provide leadership and development in the entrepreneurial community using the depth of the Philadelphia 76ers organization,” said Terry Williams, Managing Partner of NextStage Capital and CEO of ORS Partners.
“As long-time leaders of innovation in the Philadelphia area we are thrilled that the Sixers are launching this new endeavor in the region. We look forward to supporting their effort as mentors and advisors for this 2017 initiative,” said Avi Savar, CEO & Managing Partner of DreamIt.
“We are excited and honored for Techstars to collaborate with the Philadelphia 76ers and Kimball Office in their visionary Innovation Lab. As mentors to their startups and as part of cross-program speaker series, we are confident that our organizations will add value to each of our endeavors and will help bring participating companies a step closer to success,” said Dan Loeb, VP of Corporate Development at Techstars.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
For more information contact the Philadelphia 76ers Director of Corporate Communications, Lara Toscani, at LaraToscani@Sixers.com or 610-675-8153.
ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS:
The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most storied franchises in the National Basketball Association, having won three World Championships, earning nine trips to The Finals and making 47 playoff appearances over 66 seasons. The team is owned by an investor group led by Managing Owner Josh Harris.
ABOUT KIMBALL OFFICE:
Kimball Office, one of America’s most respected environmentally conscious contract office furniture manufacturers, applies its rich heritage to create workspaces that support an ever-changing world. Focused on designing new solutions, Kimball Office provides architects, designers, facility managers, and employers with
open plan system solutions, both modern and classic desking, and a range of conference and seating options. Kimball Office is a brand unit of Kimball International, Inc. (NASDAQ:KBAL), based in Jasper, Indiana and recognized with the Great Place to Work® designation. To explore the collection of products and find out what’s next, visit kimballoffice.com.
ABOUT THE WHARTON SCHOOL:
The Wharton Social Impact Initiative leverages Wharton’s strengths to develop and promote business strategies for a better world. We use core business competencies to spur strategic and systems-level positive social impact in Philadelphia and around the world. Through research, consulting, hands-on training, and outreach, we are advancing the science and practice of business social impact and developing business leaders who are equipped to lead in an increasingly interconnected and complex world. Established in 2010, our cross-cutting work focuses on impact finance, entrepreneurship, impact analytics, and strategic corporate social impact, and incorporates research that leverages Wharton’s analytic horsepower. For more information, visit socialimpact.wharton.upenn.edu. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, a private Ivy League university located in Philadelphia. Wharton was established in 1881 through a donation from Joseph Wharton. It is the first business school in the United States.
ABOUT NEXTSTAGE CAPITAL:
Headquartered outside of Philadelphia, NextStage Capital was founded with one goal: to build great technology companies in a region where there is a systemic undersupply of early stage capital. The firm was founded by an entrepreneur and two investment professionals with operating experience who saw an opportunity for a different approach to venture capital – an approach that integrates human capital expertise with patience and little hierarchy. The firm focus on finding undiscovered early stage investment opportunities in the Mid-Atlantic region with an emphasis on software and technology-enabled services. The partners dedicate their efforts to find talented entrepreneurs with compelling technology offerings and help them build long-term value.
Techstars is a mentorship-driven startup accelerator founded by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis that holds 13 week programs for startups in Boulder, New York City, Boston, Seattle, San Antonio, Austin, Chicago and London. It is considered one of the best startup accelerators in the world. Fewer than 1% of the companies that apply to Techstars are accepted. As of mid-2015, Techstars has accepted 526 companies into its program. Collectively, these companies have raised over $1.3B. Program mentors include Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, tumblr CEO David Karp, HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah, and Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures.
ABOUT DREAMIT VENTURES:
DreamIt Ventures, founded in 2007, is a venture capital and seed accelerator firm focusing on Seed Venture, Early Stage Venture and Late Stage Venture Investing. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the venture capital firm operates four seed accelerators in the USA: Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Austin, as well as an international accelerator in Tel Aviv. Via its accelerator programs, DreamIt Ventures has launched over 200 companies that have raised $275 million at combined valuations of more than $1 billion. Notable investments include SeatGeek, social gaming company SCVNGR, and MindSnacks. DreamIt Ventures worked with Comcast Ventures on seed projects for Kwelia, Reactor Inc. and Toppermost Corp. DreamIt ventures was listed on the Forbes Midas List of Top Startup Incubators and Accelerators.