Sports in Society

Women in Sports Tech increasing summer fellowships by 60%

By Eric Prisbell

Women in Sports Tech (WiST) announced today that it will award 24 summer fellowships to female undergraduate and graduate university students, representing an increase of 60% in the number of Fellows versus the 15 granted in '20. The '21 WiST Fellowship cohort is made up of diverse students from Dickinson College, Harvard, Mississippi Valley State, Texas Southern, Univ. of Maryland, UNC-Chapel Hill, Univ. of San Francisco, and more. Each Fellow will receive a $5,000 grant to pursue summer projects in their chosen area of sports technology -- five of which are self-created projects and 19 of which are hosted by corporations and other partners. Fellows able to travel for their projects will receive expense stipends of up to $2,500 to cover those expenses.

BIG NAMES ON-BOARD: WiST Fellowships, the nonprofit’s flagship program created in 2018, provide opportunities for women to gain real world experience through summer internships, an integral part of door-opening, resume-building, and networking, while building job skills and confidence that help propel them into exciting careers in sports technology. This year’s winning students will have a relevant WiST mentor and work in a wide range of fields in the industry, from data science to product development to biomechanics at organizations including Comcast Sports Tech, Comcast Spectacor, Nike, Stanford Pediatric Orthopedic Research Program, Dick's GameChanger, Catapult Sports, U.S. Ski and Snowboard and the Bruins.  “We’re elated that WiST has grown to the level that we can inspire and positively impact the career aspirations for so many more ambitious students who may not have even been aware of the array of opportunities awaiting them in the exploding sports tech business,” said Marilou McFarlane, WiST CEO/Founder and former CMO of Mustard and President of STATSports North America. “Our corporate partners are thrilled to have access to our WiST Fellows network as well as other specific initiatives that help them change the ratio of their workforces, such as our recently launched WiST Network career hub."

BROAD REPRESENTATION: Of the 24 new WiST Fellows, nearly 60% are young women of color. WiST saw a 194% increase in applications for the prestigious Fellowships after significantly expanding its network into U.S. universities and colleges, including a partnership with the Southwest Athletic Conference. “As a leader in this space, I continue to be impressed with the specific programs WiST offers employers, as well as the high caliber of professionals and students in the WiST community, all eager to work in tech and innovation roles in the sports business,” said Jarvis Sam, Global VP/Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Nike, a Forbes 30 under 30 in Sports 2021 and founding WiST board member. “Our internship program at Nike and talent pipelines are positively influenced by our continued partnership with WiST.” Jenna Kurath, VP/Startup Partner Development and Head of Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech -- a new WiST partner and corporate host of a 2021 WiST Fellow, added: “WiST is an impressive organization that we are proud to support and we are excited to have a Fellow join our SportsTech Accelerator team this summer. Our WiST Fellow will gain immediate experience working with our deal sourcing team to evaluate startup founders applying for our 2022 SportsTech accelerator class and we look forward to her unique perspective.”

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