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Arsenal kick-starts 10-week programme with six pioneering startups

Yesterday marked the start of the Arsenal Innovation Lab, a ten-week programme working with six startup organisations to identify ground-breaking new fan experiences.

The club launched the Arsenal Innovation Lab in September 2017 with corporate innovation specialist L Marks and after receiving over 250 applications invited 22 to come and pitch their ideas in a “Dragon’s Den” style event in November.

The pitch day saw a range of creative and innovative ideas presented with six startups selected to move forward as part of the Arsenal Innovation Lab’s ten-week programme.  These six startups will be mentored by senior business leaders from the club and have the opportunity to test and demonstrate products or services. At the end of the programme, the club will assess whether to make further investment to finalise and progress the ideas.

Vinai Venkatesham, Chief Commercial Officer at Arsenal, said: “We are really looking forward to working with these six exciting startups over the next 10 weeks and hopefully beyond.  Innovation has always been at the heart of the club since its formation in 1886.  Our aim is to create better experiences for our supporters all around the world, from retail experiences to digital content.  We are looking forward to taking this next step in the Arsenal Innovation Lab and developing these pioneering ideas to take the club forward.”

L Marks Chairman Stuart Marks said: “We have selected six fantastic companies developing some truly innovative products, ranging from AI to smart payments and augmented reality. I’m very excited to see what each team will achieve working closely with Arsenal over the next ten weeks and what these developments will mean for the future of the sporting sector.” 

The six startups that have been selected are highlighted below:

Peak is a data analytics company based in Manchester that will focus on helping Arsenal grow using data and artificial intelligence. Founded in 2014, it has grown rapidly and, in 2015, won Tech North’s Northern Stars competition as a ‘top tech startup in the UK’.

BotNation is a French startup that creates Artificial Intelligence chatbots on messaging apps, voice apps and websites. On the programme, they will help Arsenal to provide supporters with purchases on the arsenaldirect e-commerce store. They are already used by 700 companies in 53 countries.

WoraPay is a mobile ordering and payment technology company. On the programme, they will focus on helping Arsenal improve the matchday experience for supporters by allowing them to place orders, make payments and have their food and beverage delivered. Based in London, WoraPay’s tech is already being distributed to UK retailers by the Lloyds Banking Group and Mastercard.

I like that is a London-based startup that offers a complete and on-demand retail experience where users can purchase directly from international media sites, including, without having to navigate to the club’s e-commerce store, It also provides a revenue stream for publisher websites.

KonnecTo is an Artificial Intelligence-based data collection and analysis platform, based in Tel Aviv, that will help enable Arsenal to analyse their supporters’ personal interactions with them and to translate that information into actionable insights. They will work closely with the Partnerships team to provide a deeper understanding of Arsenal’s supporter base and help identify potential partnerships.

Aireal allows digital content to coexist in reality using geospatial Augmented Reality, visible through mobile devices. The Dallas based company will help Arsenal to engage with its global supporters by providing them with the ability to place static and moving 3D digital objects, such as players or trophies, anywhere in the world for fans to interact with. This will create infinite ways for the club’s supporters to experience the Arsenal world like never before.