1.FC KÖLN HYPE SPIN® Accelerator

Pave the road to championship!

1.FC Koln opens up its ecosystem and network to help entrepreneurs to shape the future of our sports industry



With more than 101,000 members 1. FC Köln is the fourth largest football club in Germany. Shortly after its founding in 1948, 1. FC Köln became known for being a pioneer in the professionalization of football. First club president Franz Kremer was one of the instrumental figures in the inception of the Bundesliga.

To this day, innovation is a core value of the three-time German Champion and four-time German Cup Champion. The club has regularly been one of the first football clubs to adopt new technologies, for instance VR or digital payments, and its sophisticated use of social media has been award-winning.




Applications Open

Submit your application


Applications Close



Up to 25 startups will participate in a 3 day Bootcamp, where they pitch in front of the selection committee


Program Kickoff

Up to 12 startups will be selected to take part in the SPIN Accelerator


Mid-program onsite event


Demo Day

Pitch your startup before a crowd of global sports brands, clubs and investors

1.FC Köln Mentors

Alexander Wehrle

1. FC Köln, Managing Director

Philipp Liesenfeld

FC Köln, Head of Corporate Development and Internationalization

Bernd Wahler

Ex CMO adidas, Ex President VfB Stuttgart

Tim Schumacher

Co-Founder Sedo.com

Oliver Thylmann

Co-Founder of Giant Swarm

Thomas Grota

Strategy at Telekom Deutschland

Ruth Cremer

Startup Coach & Mentor, Speaker, Moderator

Prof. Dr. Sascha L. Schmidt

Director of the Center for Sports and Management WHU

Philipp Klotz

CEO & Co-Owner SPONSORs Verlag GmbH

Peter Rost

Investor, Advisor and Profiler Conscious Entrepreneurship

Kai Bühler

Tech Entrepreneur, Professor, Angel Investor

Jörg Binnenbrücker

Founding Partner at Capnamic Ventures

Alexander Müller

CEO, SK Gaming E-Sport

Christoph Berger

Managing Director/Founder Bellaxa AG
Join Our Ecosystem

Our Partners

What we do

Powering 100s of Startups worldwide


Didn’t find the answer you were looking for?

Email us at zvika@hypesportinnovation.com

and we’ll get back to you shortly!

Absolutely. Applications are welcome from outside the hosting region and country. If you see yourself as high potential company in the areas of sports-innovation, do apply. Some of our programs may offer travel and support assistance as well.

We are looking for sports innovation companies with the highest potential for growth and return on investment. Selected startups cover a wide range of sectors, product stages and sizes. Whilst significant revenue is a strong validation of your business model, we still value other metrics to assess your growth potential.

We are excited about working with founders who are really passionate about solving a big problem and have taken the first steps to building something that customers find valuable. While we have found that teams with multiple co-founders are able to dramatically improve their positioning and offering following the program, we do occasionally invest in single founders. Typically a single founder has a product with customer traction and is actively seeking a co-founder, which is something we can also help you with.

We are looking to identify great founders who are proposing products that solve real problems or create meaningful innovations. We rate applications mainly according to your market segment and potentials, quality of founders and teams, revenue model and a technical assessment.

The duration of the accelerator program is 3 month, including the Bootcamp period. In some of our programs, after this period, few teams may be invited to stay in the accelerator premises and will enjoy our facilities and networking for an extended duration.

While SPIN Accelerator is a major commitment, we do not require that you be primarily based onsite during the entire program. The program is made up of components of onsite and virtual support. In most programs, we expect up to 4 onsite visits will be required for the Bootcamp, Program kickoff, mid-program reality checks and the Demo Day. All other activities, seminars and mentoring will be supported virtually.

In most programs, co-working space for the program duration (within certain team size constraints) will be available.

We typically don’t directly provide accommodation as part of the program. However, we do provide in-depth support to help you find accommodation so the moving process as painless as possible.

Didn’t find the answer you were looking for?

Email us at zvika@hypesportinnovation.com

and we’ll get back to you shortly!

Apply Here

This process might take a few minutes. You will be asked to upload your pitch deck so please prepare it in advance.

In order for us to be able to properly evaluate your eligibility to the HYPE SPIN® Accelerator program, we kindly ask that you complete all of the following questions as accurately as possible.

Registration Form Esports
0% Complete
1 of 3