Future of Sport Lab and Relay Ventures Join Forces to Propel Innovation in Sports Technology

March 15, 2024

As a new foundational partner, Relay Ventures will invest in the Future of Sport Lab’s network of sports startups 

Future of Sport Lab is now accepting applications for its 2024 Cohort

TORONTO, ON, February 29, 2024 – – Future of Sport Lab, a SportsTech innovation hub founded by Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and supported by the DMZ, is excited to announce its new strategic partnership with Relay Ventures, a leading Canadian venture capital firm specializing in early-stage investments. This landmark partnership brings together Future of Sport Lab's expertise in sports technology research, innovation, and entrepreneurship with Relay Ventures' extensive experience in early stage SportsTech investing.

As a foundational partner, Relay Ventures has committed to invest in and partner with a select number of companies from each cohort, helping to create a pathway for entrepreneurs in the evolving sports technology industry. Relay was involved in theScore’s $2 billion sale to PENN Entertainment - the largest transaction ever recorded for a Canadian Sports Tech company - and Playmaker’s $188 million sale to Better Collective.

Future of Sport Lab has already made significant strides in advancing the SportsTech sector. To date, Future of Sport Lab has graduated 19 startups that have gone on to raise more than $75 million in new investments along with securing several significant sport business partnerships. FSL alumni include successful SportsTech companies such as Spalk, Zone 7, BookSeats and The Gist – all which have blazed a trail of innovation in the sports industry.  FSL is also supported by a remarkable roster of more than 20 senior industry advisors and executives representing a range of leading sport organizations and stakeholders. 

"We are thrilled to have Future of Sport Lab  partner with Relay Ventures, a renowned leader in early stage investments,” said Dr. Cheri Bradish, Founder and Managing Director, Future of Sport Lab. “This alliance will enable us to further accelerate the development of innovative sports technologies that will revolutionize the industry and help to create a much needed pathway for Canadian startups to secure funding to drive their businesses.”

"It is very exciting to join forces with the Future of Sport Lab, a recognized leader in the SportsTech sector," said Simon Sokol, Vice President of Relay Ventures. "We continue to be bullish on SportsTech and are excited to partner with startups from the Future of Sport Lab to bring further innovation to the world of sports. We hope to provide early-stage startups with the capital and resources needed to innovate and disrupt the fast-changing world of sports. Together with the Future of Sport Lab, we are committed to supporting innovation and the creation of groundbreaking solutions that will shape the future of sports, media and entertainment."

Brian Cooper, Chair of Future of Sport Lab, emphasized the importance of Canadian startups having access to new funding opportunities. He stated, "This partnership with Relay Ventures opens up a world of possibilities for Canadian startups in the sports technology sector. Access to new funding is vital for the growth and success of these innovative companies, and this collaboration will provide them with the resources they need to thrive in a competitive global market."

Future of Sport Lab is now accepting applications for its 2024 cohort. Perspective startups can apply at

The Future of Sport Lab offers a custom incubator program for startups and innovators which includes dedicated mentorship, agile curricular programming, pilot projects and academic support through the program and DMZ. 

About The Future of Sport Lab

The Future of Sport Lab (FSL) is a collaborative lab for sport innovation established by Toronto Metropolitan University and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) with support from  DMZ. FSL is widely recognized as Canada’s global leader in sport innovation, creating an ecosystem that connects sport properties, industry partners, entrepreneurs, investors, thought leaders and scholars. Supported by an unmatched network of more than 20 senior industry advisors from leading sport organizations and stakeholders, FSL has fostered a number of diverse innovative sport solutions and technologies as well as related insights and education, and to date, startups through the program have raised over $75 million in new financing and investments along with securing a number of significant sport business partnerships.

Relay Ventures 

Relay Ventures, founded in 2008, is one of Canada’s leading independent VC fund managers. The Firm is presently investing out of its fifth fund which commenced in 2022. It has invested in more than 130 companies and successfully exited more than half through M&A and IPO. The Firm has a team of 20 professionals with offices in Toronto, Calgary, and San Francisco.

About DMZ

DMZ is a world-leading startup incubator based at Toronto Metropolitan University that equips the next generation of tech entrepreneurs with the tools needed to build, launch and scale highly impactful startups. By providing connections to customers, coaching, capital and a community, DMZ’s customized approach helps innovators reach the next milestone in their entrepreneurial journey – whatever that might be. Through its award-winning programming, DMZ has helped more than 820 startups raise $2.58 billion in capital and create 5,000+ jobs. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with globally-accessible programming, DMZ has a widely-recognized international presence with offices in Vietnam, India and the U.S., and partnerships across North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Learn more at

Media Contacts

Greg McIsaac

Future of Sport Lab 

Tel: (416) 458-3591

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