A 24h open innovation event (with sleep).

Tackling 9 challenges from the sports & rehab sector.

Join us to create new concepts for products and services that do not yet exist.

Form teams & take action!

24-25 april 2015, 18h-18h, GUSB Sportsbar, Ghent, Belgium.

Are you eager to know how we combined sport, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, all in one event?

Well, on April 24th, 2015, the first “Sports ID Marathon” was organized at Ghent University. The initiative was taken by “Victoris”, the Valorization Centre for Technological Optimization, Research and Innovation in Sport of the university, in collaboration with “Student Ghentrepreneur”, the Ghent program for student entrepreneurship.

The goal was clear: tackling challenges from the sports and rehab sector by bringing together people from different backgrounds in order to create new concepts for products and services that do not yet exist.

Ghent University offered their Sportsbar to host this event, which was the ideal place for this first edition. The meeting areas were used for the opening and closing ceremony, while for brainstorming sessions, the other facilities were transformed into a place where creativity and entrepreneurship could flourish as never before.

On Friday evening, the event was kicked off with an opening ceremony. Kristof De Mey explained what motivated him to organize this event. The key component: linking people, sharing ideas & creating possibilities for the future. He also gave an introduction into the creative thinking process including ‘the rules of the game of brainstorming’. The challenges (originally 9, downsized by 7) were pitched and the teams were formed. Coaches introduced themselves, and everybody was ready for a great start. Saar Van Lysebetten presented the “” results, since the psychological profile concerning creativity and innovation aspects was assessed by this “CREAX” and Ghent University spin-off (Department of Personnel management, work and organizational psychology).

Before starting the brainstorming sessions, a dinner and networking moment was offered, where people connected and started sharing ideas. “Green Cola”, a Greek company, offered a fresh drink for everybody at the outdoor terrace.
The rest of the evening was filled with focusing on the brainstorming question and accompanied idea generation.

The second day started with an early-morning run for the fans (guided by Tim De Vilder of “Peak Level” and Tomas Valcke of “De Loopcoach”) followed by a healthy breakfast. There was also the possibility to swim at the universities’ inside swimming pool.
During the first part of the day, teams continued with idea generation and initial selection of ideas. At lunch time, DJ M Sweet provided some nice beats and people started to dance!

Loaded with lots of energy, people got back into their teams and continued to develop, pivot and decide on what they were going to pitch at the end. During the day, there was enough time left to practice some sports too. “Bumbervoetbal” and “You-fo” were the new and cool ones to play! For some lucky people, a massage session was performed by “Just Touch”.

At 16h30 pm, it was time for the teams to finish their projects, present and let the jury deliberate on them. People took place in the meeting area and waited impatiently for the results. Thanks to the high variety of participant backgrounds, teams got a lot of various inputs that resulted in original concepts that were then reviewed by the jury.

After 15 minutes of deliberation, the jury selected their top 3 based on 5 criteria: 1/ is it realistic?, 2/ is it innovative?, 3/ what´s the societal value?, 4/ what´s the economic value?, 5/ is it scalable? The third place was won by the team of Peak Level, that came up with the idea of a quality label for sport and healthy lifestyle interventions in the workplace. The team received a You-fo from Bas Ruyssenaars, a Dutch entrepreneur that invented this new sport. Each member also received a ticket for a free climbing session at the new “Biover Bleau Climbing Hall”.

The second place was won by the team of Geert De Wael that tackled the “UPLACE-BMC Pro Triathlon Team”´s challenge. In order to become able to follow their triathletes, their concept was based on creating a dashboard for video (bike camera´s, 360° video, drones, etc.) and meta data (position, speed, hearth rate, temperature, etc.). They received a place at the attractive “Like Birds” co-working office in Ghent and a fitness package at “Venice Beach”, the new fitness centre located within the Ghelamco Arena.

Finally, the winner of the first Sports ID marathon event was … the team of Koen Vercauteren with ‘Direction’, a new agility training product that combines sensors, with led lightening and a digital platform for game playing and data collection. Koen will soon startup his company called ‘”LedsReact”. Direction will be his first product. The team received a 1-minute animated video that will be made by the successful start-up “Story Me”. The total budget to create such video is 5.000 euro. The team also received a 25 euro discount each at the new Decathlon store in the city. Koen ended his speech with promoting to take people with autism within your company. For this, he received the audience award, a bucket of local food and drinks, provided by “Stad Gent“.

The event was closed with a reception. The organization would love to thank everyone who contributed to this wonderful first edition. Special thanks goes to the participants, challengers, coaches and jury members! Special thanks is also given to the sponsors who provided various products or services.

Based on the evaluation forms, attendees gave the Sports ID Marathon a 8/10 overall score. The event was amusing, innovative, inspiring and most of all…it left us eager for more, so we hope to see you at our second event next year! Would you be able to win it then? Suggest your challenge now!


Sports ID Marathon (click for more info)

Friday Eve

Be welcome

meet people and get inspired


the team´s objectives in a 1 minute presentation


have a chat

Enjoy dinner

and start a brain dump of ideas with your team


Take part

in the innovators morning run (optional)


relevant brainstorming techniques with your facilitator


give it a break


and prepare a 1 slide presentation


some table tennis (for fun)


your work + possible next steps, and get advice from experienced jury members


your challenger to take next steps together with you (or not, as you want)

Eat, drink

and go home (spread the word)

Pre Phase


to the event and fix your place for a particular challenge (or suggest a challenge yourself at the link above)

Invite Friends

to join the event and your challenge (form teams with a mix of identities to be most creative)

Take the Innduce test

your innovative ID, thanks to! (you will receive a free login mid April by email)

Go to the Pecha Kucha Night

about innovation in sports on March 5 in Biover Bleau, Ghent (optional)


yourself online & offline: talk to people

Learn more

about what the challenge is about, with help of your friend Google?

Get to know

challengers, team members and facilitators; connect with them

Set goals

and prepare yourself for the experience!

Post Phase (click for more info)

Meet again

with the team 2-4 weeks after the event (data fixed at the event)


roadmap for further development: do we have a project?


advice, relevant contacts & support by the Victoris Sports Technology & Business Developer


from the Student Ghentrepreneur services as a student.



Take the next steps in the innovation cycle

Present your company´s products & services

Get access to great minds

Get creative input

Challenge innovative identities

Create a team and apply the best idea generation techniques

Follow-up afterwards for further development and implementation


Be at the cutting-edge of sports trends and innovations

Meet interesting people & broaden your professional network

Have fun & showcase your creative spirit

Create something cool

Learn how to be more innovative

Cooperate with equally great minds

Tackle an inspiring challenge & be part of a new wave of innovators



The main organizer of the event is the sports innovation consortium of the Ghent University, called Victoris, that has the mission to facilitate the collaboration between academia and the field of sports, with a focus on innovation.


Victoris teamed up with the student-entrepreneurship project ‘Student Ghentrepreneur’, which is a co-working project of Ghent University (Durf Ondernemen), Arteveldehogeschool (ACCIO), HoGent (Centrum voor Ondernemen) together with the City of Ghent, iMinds and Unizo and which is funded by Agentschap Ondernemen & Vlaanderen in Actie.

Kristof De Mey
Sports technology & business developer, UGent

Linkedin Twitter mail

Steve Stevens
Student entrepreneurship, UGent

Linkedin mail Twitter

Lieven Desomviele
Creativity & Innovation, Arteveldehogeschool

Linkedin mail Twitter

Diederik Syoen
Operations & Marketing,

mail Linkedin Facebook

Michael Soetens
Sales Team Manager, JSM Communications

mail Linkedin Facebook

Jolien Coenraets
Student entrepreneurship, UGent

mail Twitter Linkedin

Kim Smets
Creativity & business innovation, Innovatiecentrum

mail Linkedin Twitter

Bruno D´Hondt
Creativity coach.

mail Linkedin Twitter

Cedric Velghe
PhD & entrepreneur in innovation management

mail Linkedin Twitter

Roderick Lindner
Founder & driver of A41. Senior business advisor.

mail Linkedin Twitter

Peter Bertels
Creativity & innovation, Flanders DC

mail Linkedin Twitter

Michael Van Damme
PhD in innovation research, UGent

mail Linkedin

Jelle Verdoodt
Entrepreneur, Founder Sportcareers

mail Linkedin Twitter

René Wijlens
Manager Sports & Technology (NL) and director European Platform for Sports Innovation

mail Linkedin Twitter

Jelle Saldien
Assistant Professor Industrial Design

mail Linkedin Twitter

Bruno D´Hulster
Entrepreneur, Strategy & Innovation Consultant

mail Linkedin Twitter

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Is this event something for me?

What unites all attendees is a passion for sports & innovation. If you like to meet like-minded and motivated people that love brainstorming and creating new products and services for the sport- and rehab sector that do not yet exist, then the Sports ID marathon is something for you.

How do I register?

At our registration page. Please select the challenge you would love to be involved in.

Why do I pay?

The majority of the income goes towards catering, promo, etc. We try to keep the price low while keeping the quality of the event high.

Why do I have to fill in the assessment?

Ghent University developed this test in collaboration with Creax in order to have an idea about your intrinsic ability to innovate. Normally, you have to pay for this! As a Sports ID marathon participant, you can take it for free. The results of the test give a good insight into your innovation qualities, also relevant for your future career. In addition, it provides relevant information concerning your team´s strengths and weaknesses that the facilitator can take into account when selecting relevant brainstorm techniques.

What should I bring?

A laptop. Business cards. Smartphone (take pictures and videos), your team members & lots of creative vibes.

How do I prepare?

Contact your team members, challenger & relevant others before the event. Visit the Pecha Kucha Ghent night about creatvitity and innovation in sports on March 5 in Biover Bleau, Ghent if you are available. Do some research on what´s already on the market. Set some goals with the team and pitch those in a 1 slide presentation at the start of the event.

What about refunds?

We prefer not to process your refund. If this turns out to be the case, just let us know, we will handle it together.

Our policy.

By registering as a participant, you acknowledge that any ideas shared by you or anyone else over the course of the event are contributions to the overall experience and community. Furthermore, you agree to act professionally, treat everyone with respect, and treat the event facilities with proper care. You agree that you are responsible for any accidents or damages that you cause. You also agree to not hold Sports ID marathon, your local volunteer team, or any of the event supporters liable for any loss, damage, injury, or any other unforeseeable incident.

What kind of challenges are you looking for?

With this event, we want to create a platform for those who are willing to create new concepts for products and services that do not yet exist. Since the focus is mainly on idea generation, we prefer to tackle those challenges that need a creative input (questions open for many new thoughts).

Some challenges mainly need further research and analyses (e.g. finding a stronger material for prosthetics), while others combine technical optimization with creative input. Whereas the focus of the event is not on the first type of challenges, we do accept challenges of the second type, so combining some analysis with some creativity.

What about IP regulations?

The team decides. Sports ID marathon doesn’t support or take part in the signing of any legal documents at the events themselves. The main purpose is on collaborative idea generation. Therefore, we suggest to take the necessary legal actions for IP protection only in case it is clear that these are really needed to move on.

Can I work on more than 1 challenge?

No, you can´t. Of course, it´s interesting to chat with other participants about some aspects of the project. However, we believe the timeframe (24h) is too short to really be involved in more than 1 challenge.

Do we get some sleep or is it a full 24h event?

Sleep is very important to stay healthy and fit. Therefore, we suggest you get the sleep you need. At Friday, we will finish the program at 22h. Those who want can have a drink at the bar. On Saturday, we offer you a morning run before entering the brainstorm sessions!

Where do we sleep?

Home. If you want a ho(s)tel? Let us know, we will help you with pleasure.

What resources and assistance is given during the event?

All teams will benefit from a professional facilitator. Furthermore, we give access to the Ghent University network in the domain of sports and rehabilitation. In the pre-phase, we will prepare the challenge and brainstorm session with you. We believe you and the team will benefit from that on Saturday.

I´m not an entrepreneur. Then why should I attend?

With this event, we not only focus on highly entrepreneurial, assertive people that have a great idea. The event is open to everybody that is curious about being involved in a hands-on sports innovation event.

What is the team supposed to have accomplished after 24h?

The purpose is not to have a business plan ready for roll-out. The focus is on problem definition, idea generation and initial conceptualization. The final goal is to have a 1 slide presentation that represents a concept for a new product and/or service that has the potential to tackle the initial challenge. During the follow-up meeting, next steps can be defined with the team, which in some cases will quickly turn into project development, while in others, it will need some more incubation time before leading to something specific in real life.

What can we win?

We believe money is not the right driver in this phase of creativity and innovation. However, we believe in a nice teaser to motivate you and your team. Therefore, we are currently looking for cool stuff to win.

What´s the long term goal of the Sports ID marathon organizers?

We want to bring this event on an international level in 3 years.

What´s the Venue?

GUSB Sportsbar, Watersportbaan 3, Ghent, Belgium.

Can I park my car?

There is public parking place in the direct neighborhood available.

Are food & drinks included?

Yes (not all drinks).

Partners and Sponsors

We are happy to collaborate with partners that have innovation at the DNA of their organization.

Become a partner, and get your logo here!

Logo biover klein
De loopcoach klein
PREVIEW Colorful Backgrounds GC (2)
Like Birds


Buy your tickets below or on our Eventbrite page and choose your challenge


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