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How Betting on the Philadelphia 76ers Paid Off

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Rhyan Truett is the Director of Operations at the Sixers Innovation Lab crafted by Kimball. The Sixers Innovation Lab supports rapidly growing, early-stage companies in the consumer product space and provides speed and flexibility, individualized, industry-leading consulting and investment opportunities to startups with potential. Alongside Managing Director Seth Berger, Rhyan manages the day-to-day operations of the Innovation Lab, currently supporting four companies in the esports, digital media, pet care and daily fantasy sports industries.

There is a growing trend in Major League Sports in which many teams are launching their own incubators, partnering with startups, and using innovation methods to launch and scale the growth of these companies.

The 76ers Innovation Lab invests in consumer-based companies. They have a broad portfolio without a timeline for their companies to leave the accelerator. As such, they are able to leverage all of the experts within the whole sports enterprise. They also offer free food and housing, and legal services for their startups.

Dylan, the leader of a 76ers Innovation Lab company, started indulging his passion for Fantasy Sports when 10 years old. At 20, he took a leave of absence from Georgetown University to partner with the Philadelphia 76ers and pioneer the development of Monster Roster into a leader in the daily fantasy sports industry.

Monster Roster is a fantasy sports roster creator.  When “we found the lab,” says Dylan, “I had no idea how to run a business. Those are the main things the Lab has helped me with, as well as creating a scale-able product.”

After looking at the competitive landscape, Dylan saw a need that fantasy sports had: the ability to generate lineups with a powerful algorithm.

“The lab helps me think through things differently,” says Dylan. “I’m constantly challenged to consider how to scale the business while leveraging what we have built.”

Users build their own line up based on intelligent recommendations, making it “quick, easy, and simple,” and not allowing for “bad decisions.” Through the app, the teams from Monster Roster “perform 40% better” than unaided.

The lab has three other companies in addition to Dylan’s. The “community it has created” has been the biggest unforeseen benefit. “It helps to solve problems and brainstorm.” 

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an insight, innovation, and strategy firm based in Memphis, TN, and the author of Going Electric. Visit www.southerngrowthstudio.com

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