News Mar 01, 2016 08:33 AM EST

The Sacramento Kings Collaborates with Local Investment Firm to Host NBA's First Tech Startup Contest

By Staff Writer

The Sacramento Kings teams up with investment firm Velocity Venture Capital to host its first startup contest, Capitalize. The NBA basketball team aims to strengthen the local entrepreneur community and develop the most promising startups from the region.

According to the official media release at NBA, the competition will consist of four rounds whereas 32 local innovators will compete to showcase their product on the center court. At the last round, four finalists will join the Kings and Velocity Venture Capital at Sleep Train Arena for Tech Night for a chance to win a cash prize, consultation sessions with King executives and a lunch with Kings owner.

As the first NBA team to host a crowdsourced local tech startup competition, the Kings aims to make use of its NBA platform to help local entrepreneurs. Kings President Chris Granger stated, "We want to utilize our NBA platform to showcase Sacramento's talented innovators and thinkers. The best and the brightest will have the chance to pitch over 17,000 judges and move their startup closer to their goals, making an impact on our region and communities around the globe."

The Kings' views resonate with that of Velocity Venture Capital's. Velocity Venture Capital is a Sacramento-based investment and advisory firm which seeks to align seeds and early stage technology with strategic innovation goals. The firm's partner Monique Brown emphasized the importance of such contest that they held together with the Kings. "Capitalize provides a really unique and exciting platform for promising entrepreneurs to gain valuable exposure to the investors, mentors, and customers needed to take their companies to the next level."

Brown added, "Velocity is enthused to support this initiative and to contribute, alongside the Kings, to the promotion and development of the Sacramento region's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem." The Sacramento Kings also shows how important is the competition to them, as they aim to transform how fans watch, interact and experience basketball through technology. Inc. noted that the Kings lead the NBA in tech and marketing, as they were also the first team to have a direct integration with Uber, whereas the interface will change when there's a game.

The Sacramento Bee noted that the contest adds to the local landscape for the Sacramento tech sector, which is already improving. Sacramento is preparing for the city's largest tech campus initiated by Brandon Webber, who runs a local co-working space. He is turning a downtown bank building into I/O Labs which will be the campus.

The Sacramento Kings hopes that the startup contest initiative will help the local tech community get the resources they need to create something promising that could improve technology for a better and wider use, especially in sports. The Kings collaborates with local investment firm Velocity Venture Capital to host the contest which is open to all entrepreneurs within 75 miles of Sacramento.

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