IOT based Virtual Sports Training | IOT & AI Startup Idea

Sourav Paul

This Business Idea / Startup Idea from YoStartups is to establish IOT based Virtual Sports Training by integrating Internet of Things (IoT) and the power of Artificial intelligence. The startup will deploy sports gears and kits with embedded sensors and ultra-wideband radio, at sports centers and use the data to coach athletes. The startup aims to increase the reach of quality sports trainers to budding sportspersons and make such quality training is accessible to all.

Market Definition For This Business Idea

According to KPMG, the global market for sports events, including apparel and merchandise, is likely to grow at 6.1%, from $390 billion in 2017. The global sports infrastructure and training market are valued at $100 billion. In India, the sports infrastructure is valued at less than $10 billion and this is concentrated in the cities.

The limited infrastructure and training facilities are one of the major causes for the slow development of sports in India. In 2016 Olympics, India’s medal for population (in million) ratio was 0.002, compared to China at 0.051 and US at 0.376. Although a fast-growing economy, India’s medal to GDP (in trillion USD) ratio was 1.1, compared to China at 9.6 and US at 8.

Majority of the children in the country do not get the opportunity to participate in sports due to poor infrastructure or even open spaces. Further, the concentration of the limited infrastructure in cities has denied the rural areas easy access to such facilities when it is believed that India has a huge talent that is hidden in such areas.

Sports has a positive influence on the economy of a country due to its impacts on other sectors such as education, real estate, and tourism. India needs to increase the size and reach of it sports infrastructure significantly in order to boost the development of sports in the country.

Competitor Analysis For This Business Idea

The sports market in India is at a nascent stage. While most of the administration and infrastructure is controlled by the government, startups have started to bring in technology in the area of data aggregation, online sports retail, and ticket booking. Firms such as Kick provide infrastructure for playing outdoor games in the indoor environment. Analytics companies such as Fantain offer Fan Relationship Management products and solutions for sports teams worldwide.

SlamdunQ is a company that uses data analytics to help athletes improve their performance. They have also released a mobile app to coach and guide budding and professional players with their bowling skills.

Pain Point and Target Audience for IOT based Virtual Sports Training

The target customers for this business are both the aspiring athletes and the coaches.

Most aspiring athletes face problems in developing the right technique due to lack of proper guidance. Young athletes either spend a lot of time commuting to coaching centers far from their homes to learn from a good coach or relocate from their homes to someplace nearby. In spite of all the hard work and sacrifices that these young sports aspirants make, they end up developing incorrect technique as the coach to athlete ratio is very low and sufficient time may not be given to all athletes.

Coaching centers cannot expand easily as infrastructure building requires a huge land mass that is difficult to find. Coaches therefore sometimes fail to reach the far away areas, especially rural areas, which are a hub of talent.

Value Proposition For This Business Idea

The value proposition is to build training facilities that are connected to the internet. The facilities would provide training equipment such as connected balls, sensor-enabled bats and racquets, wearables such as shoes, helmets and wristbands fitted with Bluetooth devices. The data from all these equipment would be transmitted to a remote coach. The startup will also have to focus on high-speed imaging technologies to transmit the images, along with the data, to the remote coach.  The coach from a remote location can then guide the athletes in improving their game. In sports such as cricket and tennis, training equipment such as bowling machines can be programmed to improve by self-learning from the player data. The machines can then intelligently throw the balls to give the player more of a particular practice to overcome their weak techniques. Most individual sports and certain areas in team sports can be covered by this training method.

Business Model For IOT based Virtual Sports Training

There are 2 ways to monetize this business idea.

First, is to create a marketplace for coaches and athletes. Once a coach and athlete decide to work together, the virtual coaching can happen in the IoT training facility for which the athlete pays the coaching fee. A percentage of that fee is charged by the company, while the remaining is paid to the coach.

Second, is to tie up with existing coaching centres who would want to use the facility as an extension of their existing facilities. The revenue model can be either a fixed rent or a rent plus variable based on the number of students.

Way to market For This Business Idea

The startup should focus at first on the most popular sports in the country. Cricket and any racquet sports can be a good pick. It is important to tie up with either a well-known sports academy or have reputed coaches as partners. Sports arenas in urban locations would form the first venues to start and test the prototype. Target students would be school going children who can spare an hour or two a day for training. The fee structure would have to be very competitive, as the benefits of the virtual training may not be easily understood and appreciated during the early days.

Milestones For IOT based Virtual Sports Training

The startup should start with one of the major city, demonstrating its benefits and then expand to other cities and smaller towns. The initial major costs are rent costs, equipment and installation costs.

Investment Needed for Prototyping This Business Idea

The startup should start with an arena that can house 5-10 pitches/ single courts. It should target to raise around $150-250 thousand from angel investors and incubators. The startup can also look to approach a few of the most popular training centers in different sports and pitch them for initial investments.

Investors/ Expert Take On IOT based Virtual Sports Training

Investors are keen to fund feasible concepts in the IoT space, with a good potential for monetization. With technology being used by professional sports leagues and teams, it is not very long before such technology becomes a norm in the early training stage.

This 1001 startup idea article is from Yostartups, YoStartups is a Pre Accelerator and it empowers entrepreneurs to propel their business ideas into successful ventures. Yostartups’ core mission is to take the message of entrepreneurship to 1 billion people globally by 2020.

In case you are looking at scaling or launching a venture on similar lines, you can apply for our virtual acceleration program Excelrate on our website,, Yostartups’ Excelrate program will help you in streamlining and structuring your startup idea. We have limited scholarships and discount packs for deserving startups, depending on the strength of your application, you may qualify for a discount.

*Any information given in the article does not constitute any warranty of marketability or fitness for a particular business idea for any market or industry segment. It is the readers’ sole responsibility to further research and assess the market opportunity.
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