Spring 2020 Course
Challenge Lab: Sports Tech and Human Performance
The goal of the Sports Tech & Human Performance Challenge Lab is to enable diverse teams of students to build new startup ventures that use technology to help humans perform at their highest potential. Cross-disciplinary teams spend fifteen weeks going through ideation, user validation, testing, feedback, building, and presenting a final prototype to address a challenge in sports technology or the human performance fields. Challenges will address opportunities in broad categories of human performance such as digital health, recovery, wearables and quantified self, eSports and gaming, foodtech and supplements, neurotech, training, fan & venue engagement, scoring & facility technology, practice and performance analysis, telehealth and telemedicine, and other technologies related to improving human performance.
“This class speaks to the core of what we are here at Cal and what makes Berkeley unique. Our student-athletes have the chance to experience something you just don’t find anywhere else in terms of technology, entrepreneurship, and athletics at such a high level. It’s really remarkable,” says Head Football Coach Justin Wilcox.
“Students gain invaluable interpersonal skills through these projects, that will be an asset in their career. Classes like this allow [students] the space to showcase their skill set in a cross-functional team, in a fast-paced environment, and under tight budget restraints; an environment they will likely encounter in the workforce especially if they work for a startup or create their own.” Kelly Becker, Partner Innovation Manager at Under Armour.
“In this class, you really have to get outside of your comfort zone,” Rambo said. “ It’s a place for ideas to come together. It doesn’t really matter what your major is. It matters how much you’re willing to put into this process. All that matters is, are you willing to work with other people. Are you comfortable with other people?” Evan Rambo, legal studies major and a safety for the Cal football team
"Our student-athletes are working side by side as classroom peers and innovators in the SCET Sports Tech Collider. In addition to bringing an academic skill set to the table, they are providing end-user sport knowledge, which will be invaluable to creating cutting-edge sport tech right here at Cal. This kind of opportunity can offer significant benefits to Cal Athletics and sport in general, potentially making sport faster, stronger, more interactive for fans, and, most importantly, safer and smarter," says Ryan Cobb, Cal Athletics Sr. Associate Athletic Director
“That (having 60 applicants for a 20 spot class) really showed us that there was interest there and that is was something that everyone on campus could get behind,” Torres said. “It’s not just athletics. It’s not just academics. It’s really us working in sync.” - Stephen Torres, Sports Tech instructor
How can technology create competitive advantage for athletes and sports teams?
How can athletes and teams leverage cutting-edge technology such as data science, artificial intelligence, internet of things, biotech, and other innovations to win?
The premise of the Sports Tech Program is simple; the University of California, Berkeley has premier athletic programs and the best science, technology, engineering, and math programs in the world. This program brings these forces together to create technology-based innovations that lead to new ventures creating competitive advantages for athletes, teams and sports leagues.
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