Q&A With The Pitch, A Sportstech Coworking Hub Launching In Minneapolis


Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 6.37.20 AMThe Pitch emerged last week as Minnesota’s newest addition to the coworking scene — a 10,000 sq. ft. space in Northeast Minneapolis exclusively for sportstech startups and the entrepreneurs who run them.

It all came together by way of partnership between software maker Sport Ngin and key investor, Rally Ventures.

“Rally had a goal of creating a unique space for entrepreneurs and Sport Ngin was significantly accelerating their partnership and ecosystem program and the idea began as we were casually discussing these types of initiatives one day,” explains Rally Ventures General Partner Jeff Hinck.

Let’s hear more from Hinck and Sport Ngin cofounder Carson Kipfer about what’s in store:

What are the motives in teaming up like this on a coworking space?

Hinck: the chance to build something really unique in a space we have a lot of interest in as well as a belief that creating close proximity among like minded individuals with complementary networks leads to better results for everyone – entrepreneurs, community, athlete.

Kipfer: Over the past few years we’ve had the opportunity to work with a growing number of sports tech startups through our Integrators Program. We’ve found that these technical integrations and partnerships have added immense value to the thousands of sports organization we work with. With this in mind, we’re excited to see a physical coworking space continue to drive sports tech innovation and collaboration faster and further.


How is it being financed?

Hinck: Personally by myself & Charles Beeler

How many people/teams would you say it will take to fill?

Hinck: we have capacity for nearly 100 people presently.

What is the value proposition for startups to consider?

Hinck: Most of this is well laid out on the site — flexible space, ability to work with similarly situated companies sharing the goals of improving all facets of sports, topical events and relevant mentors.

Kipfer: We’ve had so many people tour the new Sport Ngin workplace and express a desire to work in a similar environment. We’ve taken all of those desired ingredients and created an inspiring coworking space, that in and of itself delivers an impressive value proposition. In addition to great space, the overall day-to-day “member experience” will be provide by Teke O’Reilly, Executive Director and coworking virtuoso. Beyond coworking, the value proposition really gets meaty: a sports tech focused community, valuable roster of sports tech mentors, sports tech specific events, presentations and workshops, and proximity to Sport Ngin.

What is your take on Minnesota’s sports tech scene? And the National scene?

Hinck: We think the Minnesota sports tech scene is as developed as anywhere and we think it can become the epicenter for sports tech.  The national scene has really started to accelerate in the last few years with numerous companies being formed in an otherwise relatively tech-starved vertical.

Kipfer: Over the past couple years the national sports tech scene has exploded. People are starting to realize that the natural communities built around organizations, teams and athletes, along with the data driven nature of competition, standings and statistics provide a massive opportunity to innovate. It has been inspiring to be part of a thriving local sports tech scene that is making an impact globally. We’re excited to put our flag in the ground and claim NE Minneapolis as “the place to be” nationally for sports tech startups and innovators.

What is the ultimate goal and what would success look like?

Hinck: The ultimate goal is to create the premiere location for sports technology companies to collaborate and connect whether that’s as full time or part time members or just to attend events or connect with the membership. Success would be more sports tech companies created, collaborating and being part of the eco-system.

Kipfer: Our goal is to create the premiere destination for sports tech startups. As we deliver on this vision, The Pitch will be regarded as the epicenter of the sports tech community, encouraging innovation in the market and successful outcomes for members and their companies.


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