Sodexo Live!, a hospitality and concessions partner for sports and entertainment venues, has launched a new innovation lab in North America to work with startups developing products to improve venue operations and fan experience at live events. start-up can apply for Sodexo’s new North American accelerator program Live! until September 12. The program is organized in partnership with global innovation specialist L Marks.
The accelerator is looking for startups whose solutions address themes such as:
- Recruit employee talent
- Added AR and VR fan experiences to sites
- Frictionless fan inlet
- Points of contact at the point of sale
- Predictive analytics to optimize site space and internal operations
Selected startups will work with mentors on a ten-week program to test their products in a live event environment.
Sodexo live! Recently signed an agreement until 2026 to become the hotel partner of the French Open at Roland Garros. The company manages hospitality, food and beverage services for US venues such as Nashville SuperspeedwayHard Rock Stadium in Miami, and T-Mobile Park in Seattle. Earlier this MLB season, Sodexo Live! opened an Amazon Just Walk Out store at T-Mobile Park for fans during Mariners games.
Among the competitors of Sodexo Live! in the reception area of the rooms is Levy, who launched his DBK-Studio innovation branch earlier this year that works similarly to Sodexo’s new accelerator. DBK Studio partners with tech startups to roll out new services across Levy’s 250 locations, such as adding Mantis XR QR codes to St. Louis Blues Arena to power a new online virtual dressing room merchandise shopping platform for fans.
“We literally get a hundred inbound ideas a month from companies who believe they have created the magic elixir to achieve fan and guest nirvana,” Levy President and CEO Andy Lansing told The Daily Mail. Sports Business Journal. “What DBK Studio does is, through a team of experts in all areas of our business, formalize the process by which we bring new technologies to market.”
Levy’s DBK Studio has also worked with drone delivery startup Valqari to add drone deliveries for fans ordering food at the Purdue University baseball field. American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks, collaborated with DBK Studio to launch two self-contained cashless food and beverage outlets in April, powered by Standard AI’s computer vision cameras.
Another hospitality provider and sports venue concessionaire alongside Sodexo Live! and Levy is Aramark, who partnered with TendedBar to add its facial-recognition cocktail ordering machine to Empower Field in Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos. Aramark has also launched mobile robot food delivery for fans of Capital One Arena during the NHL playoff games in May through its partnership with delivery robot startup Tortoise.