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ASICS opens innovation lab in Barcelona

Asics Tenkan Ten, Barcelona
Image Courtesy: foroatletismo.com

Japanese sports multinational, Asics is launching a tech-dedicated European incubator as part of its ‘Growth Plan for 2020’.

Dubbed ‘Tenkan Ten’, the high-end footwear and sports equipment brand’s new space will open its doors in Barcelona this September.

Spread over 2,500 square-metres, the innovation hub has been designed to attract and support European sports and well-being start-ups by offering them connected meeting rooms, offices and a gym.

The effort comes in an attempt to tap into the increasing market of emerging European firms looking to revolutionise the future of the sports and fitness markets.

The project entails candidates to exclusive sessions with experts and advisors who will be invited each week to guide them on making one-on-one contacts with the global retail network, high-level directors, venture capitalists, start-up founders and media.

Emilio Risques, who has served as Asics Vice President of new business and innovation for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Pep Gomez and Eneko Knorr, both entrepreneurs, and Sébastien Lefebvre, former director of growth at Twitter, are among the top names cited for the ‘resident’ entrepreneurs by Asics.

The first session will commence from September 2018 at the Barcelona headquarters and will also provide 30,000 euros to start-ups that join the site, apart from mentoring and personalised monitoring of each enlisted project.

This initiative falls in tandem with ASICS Group’s Growth Plan (AGP) 2020, wherein the company intends to promote sustainable global growth along with a consolidated net sales of JPY 750 billion by FY 2020.

Apart from the incubator programme, the Group’s core strategy calls for a shift to the DTC mindset which entails direct to consumer communication, expanding into the women, youth and emerging markets, and reforming their development and production systems in order to support the development of sustainable society and environment.