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Innovation is at the heart of all we do.
Welcome to our innovation lab

Applications are now closed


Arsenal Football Club has thrived on a pioneering and innovative spirit since its formation in 1886. The Arsenal Innovation Lab is the latest step in our desire to be at the forefront of the game on and off the pitch. We are looking for smart-thinking businesses to help us identify ground-breaking ideas to take us forwards.

We are looking for startups to help us on the following

  • Improving matchday experience 
  • Engaging our fans globally 
  • Transforming our partner offering 
  • Building a retail operation for the future
  • Wildcard

The Arsenal Innovation Lab’s ten-week programme will be run in collaboration with corporate innovation specialist L Marks. Successful candidates will be mentored by senior business leaders from the club, gain access to test and demonstrate products/services in live environments as well as the opportunity to gain potential investment

Interested? Read on for more information.

What's on offer

Mentorship from Arsenal’s senior leadership team

Product validation from Arsenal stakeholders and supporters

Testing in a live fan environment

A network of external mentors with diverse market expertise

Opportunity to gain investment


12 October 2017

Application Deadline

We’ll review all the applications received and get back in touch with successful applicants to invite them to Pitch Day.

21 November 2017

Pitch day

Pitch Day is your chance to pitch to Arsenal’s senior leadership team to win a place on the programme.

15 January 2018

Programme starts

The 10-week intensive collaboration between you and Arsenal starts here, supported by internal experts and external mentors.

19 March 2018

Demo day

Demo Day is where you’ll show us what your business has achieved over the 10 weeks and present your proposal for future engagement with Arsenal.

Get in touch

Innovation Lab categories

Improving matchday experience

Nothing beats a matchday at Emirates Stadium – it’s a unique experience that keeps fans coming back season after season. We want to create an even more compelling and seamless experience for our supporters from the moment they leave their house to the safe arrival at their seats and home again.

How can we enrich the fan experience and atmosphere and create further opportunities for the club to engage the next generation of supporters? If this sounds like something you can help with, we’d love to hear from you.

Charlotte Kenny

Head of Fan Services

full profile

Tom McCann

Head of Sales, Service & Operations

full profile
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Engaging our fans globally

It’s a very special experience for fans to see Arsenal play at home. However, with a stadium capacity of close to 60,000, sell-out games and global support, not every fan has the opportunity to be physically present at Emirates Stadium.

How do we further harness the reach of digital channels and experiences, and deepen the opportunities for our global fans to show their support for the club? What does that content look like? Hit APPLY if this sounds like something you can answer.

Charles Allen

Head of Marketing

full profile
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Transforming our partner offering

Most effective commercial partnerships are those which really engage our fans around the world. What new tools or systems can the club use to capture and/or analyse fan data to create better engagement and rights packages for partners?

And how can we maximise the reach of partner marketing messages that engage with Arsenal and our supporters?

We want to hear from start-ups ahead of the game in this space.

Alex Wicks

Head of Partnership Development

full profile
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Building a retail operation for the future

We have done lots of work to transform the shopping experience for our supporters in-store and online. How can we leverage new technologies to ensure an even smoother experience for fans making purchases in-store, as well as those shopping online?

How do we make our in-store and stadium tours experiences as compelling as possible? How can the retail team use data tools to get smarter about what fans want and when?

If you can help us further improve our world class retail experience, particularly in the space of predictive and visualisation tools, please get in touch.

Simon Lilley

Retail Director

full profile
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Arsenal Football Club stands for community, class and progressive thinking. We want to hear from the technologists and entrepreneurs who are disrupting the norm and unearthing new innovations that can continue to drive the club forwards.

Please apply if you think that you can identify Arsenal’s ‘next big thing’!

James Murray

Head of Business Strategy

full profile
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Programme Sponsors

Vinai Venkatesham

Vinai is Chief Commercial Officer at Arsenal Football Club, where he is responsible for all commercial activities.

This includes Arsenal's sponsorship, strategy, ticketing, hospitality, retail, marketing, fan services, customer relationship management (CRM) and media businesses. In total he leads a team of over 200 permanent staff.

Vinai is a member of the Arsenal Executive Team and a board member of Arsenal Broadband Limited who own Arsenal's media and digital rights.

An Oxford graduate, Vinai started his career as an oil trader and then worked as a strategy consultant at Deloitte before joining the commercial team of the London 2012 Olympics. Vinai is also a non-executive director of the London 2017 World Athletics and World Para Athetics Championships.

Hywel Sloman

Hywel has been IT Director at Arsenal Football Club since February 2011. He is responsible for all technology for the club. This includes football operations, fan services, ticketing, retail, CRM, stadium management, hospitality management and club-wide functions.

Hywel has driven a technology transformation since joining Arsenal, overhauling business processes and applications to generate significant commercial growth and improve fan services, while undertaking a three-year infrastructure overhaul.

Prior to joining Arsenal, Hywel worked in professional services at both Deloitte and Accenture, working on major IT projects such as BBC iPlayer.

About Us


Arsenal is one of the leading clubs in world football with a strong heritage of success, progressive thinking and financial stability.

The club was founded in 1886 in Woolwich, south London, before moving to Highbury in north London in 1913. We moved to Emirates Stadium in 2006.

Arsenal has an impressive roll of honour: English League Champions 13 times, FA Cup winners a record 13 times, League Cup winners twice and European Cup Winners’ Cup (1994) and European Fairs Cup (1970) winners once.

In addition, Arsenal Women are the most successful English club in women’s football. They celebrate their 30th season this year. The club has 45,000 season ticket holders, 1.8m digital global members and one of the biggest digital followings in the game with a reach of 85m across all channels.

The Arsenal Foundation uses the power of football and the Arsenal name to inspire and support young people in north London and across the globe. The Arsenal Foundation raises funds each year and works with a number of key partners including Save The Children, Islington Giving, Willow and the Gunners’ Fund. Locally, Arsenal in the Community has delivered programmes to drive positive social outcomes for more than 30 years.

For further information please visit

L Marks

L Marks is a corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor. They build bridges between large corporates seeking to innovate more quickly with young companies with disruptive technologies, products and services. Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Stuart Marks, they run bespoke partnership programmes across industry sectors, supporting rapid innovation and connecting them with the best small businesses.

They work with clients such as John Lewis, BMW and International Airlines Group (IAG) to identify where they believe the challenges are in their businesses and then turn these into opportunities for improvement and innovation. Each programme is tailored to deliver real solutions to the corporate partners and create real opportunities for small businesses to test and grow their product with a major partner.