In 2015, a pair of Case Western Reserve University School of Law alumni teamed up to form Sports Data Labs, Inc. (SD Labs), a promising company off to an impressive start after being selected as the 2020 Early Stage Startup of the Year by Sports Technology Awards.
Founded by Mark Gorski (‘07) and Stan Mimoto (‘08), SD Labs is a venture-backed, global leader in the collection, analysis and distribution of real-time human data from on-body sensors and sensing systems. SD Labs provides technology that enables interoperability of sensors and sensing systems, while using artificial intelligence to transform collected data into metrics, insights and predictions for various real-time and on-demand use cases.
In professional sports, SD Labs has been pioneering the commercialization of athlete data through its real-time monitoring platform. The company has previously worked with the PSA World Tour, PGA Tour, ATP Tour, CBS Sports, and Fox Sports among others, and has distributed athlete data to over 150 countries. Their partnerships also include English Premier League soccer club Leeds United.
“This is a great honor for our company. We have been developing novel technologies that utilize real-time athlete data to make outcome-based predictions for next-generation sports betting, fan engagement, and performance applications,” said Gorski. “We are excited about our path ahead, particularly in the sports betting ecosystem, and would like to thank the STA Group and the judges for this recognition.”
While SD Labs was founded in 2015, the origins of the company began in 2005, when Gorski and Mimoto met as first-year law students at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. In their second and third years, they were roommates as well, each working toward divergent careers in law.
After earning a JD/MBA dual-degree, Mimoto would go on to work at McKinsey & Company and in senior roles for global giants including eBay and Visa in business development, strategic partnerships and merchant services. And Gorski, who was recently named a Forbes Technology Council member, has an extensive sports law background, with previous roles as a department head for the NBA’s Asia Development group based in Hong Kong, executive client manager for IMG and as a senior vice president of international corporate development and global head of partnerships with MP&Silva, a boutique sports media rights agency that he helped develop into a $1 billion enterprise. Gorski was also named to the prestigious Leaders Under 40 list for top global sports executives under 40 years of age in 2018.
In an emerging industry that necessitated entirely new technologies and revenue models, Gorski and Mimoto’s diverse skillsets were critical in launching SD Labs—and both credited their foundational legal skills to their time at the School of Law.
“Case Western Reserve gave us a strong foundation to work from,” said Mimoto. “BA, Business Planning and contracts were foundational classes that helped us create the company and deal with everything from board matters to a multitude of contractual engagements. From a practical perspective, the legal writing classes helped elevate how we structure and communicate, both written and orally.”
“We’re operating a global company and dealing with very complex and novel legal issues related to the collection and distribution of health data every day,” Gorski added. “Case Western Reserve prepared us extremely well for the real-world challenges we’re facing as entrepreneurs.”
In Nov. 2020, SD Labs announced the launch of its new digital health division, Human Data Labs, which leverages SD Labs’ proprietary technology solutions and proven data monetization capabilities to help consumers collect and monetize their health data, the next big step for the growing company. Gorski and Mimoto recruited the former Chief Medical Officer (Europe) of Fortune 500 healthcare conglomerate Cerner Corporation to head the new London-based division.
“We’re feeling very bullish about our path forward in both the sports and digital health ecosystems,” said Gorski. “We have another round of financing in the next few months to fuel the development of our sensor integration platform, our real-time prediction products for sports betting and digital health, and the services we are providing for monetizing data. We’re excited about the company’s future and the applications of our technology across a variety of verticals.”