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UCAM Fénix is created to link the 'second life' of athletes to start-ups

The Universidad Católica de Murcia and the Spanish Olympic Committee, with the cooperation of Shorai –a leading second career project, are launching a pioneering initiative to serve as a meeting point between the world of sports and entrepreneurship.

UCAM Fénix is created to link the 'second life' of athletes to start-ups
Alejandro Blanco, president of the COE; María Dolores García, president of UCAM; and Borja Larragan, CEO of Shorai, after signing the agreement

The Universidad Católica de Murcia (UCAM), known as 'the University of Sports', the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) and Shorai launched UCAM Fénix as part of the UCAM HiTech event, focused on boosting and creating links between sports and start-ups. María Dolores García, UCAM president; Alejandro Blanco, COE president; and Borja Larragán, CEO of Shorai, signed the agreement, aimed at strengthening the training and employability of athletes, thinking of their future after retirement.

UCAM Fénix is the first ecosystem focused on guiding professional athletes on their way to a life after active sport. This social aspect was the key to the Spanish Olympic Committee joining the project, as it is the main difference between this platform and other tools within the 'sportech' sector.

Shorai represents the perfect link between sports and entrepreneurship, as it will serve as a catalyst for the projects arising from this agreement. This community of elite athletes includes Ona Carbonell, Amaya Valdemoro, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Pato Clavet, among others. The UCAM Fénix project will be coordinated through UCAM HiTech.

After their professional career, athletes will have the opportunity to explore several options, focusing on employability, training and entrepreneurship. There is recent evidence that many athletes, armed with skills such as discipline and determination, have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs. It is essential to recognise that this transition may involve emotional challenges and UCAM Fenix, thanks to its support network, will provide resources and counselling services to make this adaptation process easier, ensuring that athletes feel supported and motivated in this new stage.

In addition to the inspiration coming from the athletes, UCAM Fénix offers a platform for start-ups to boost their innovative ideas and establish strategic connections. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to present their projects to investors and experts in the field of sports, establishing vital support networks for the growth and development of their companies.

Alejandro Blanco: ‘The spirit of José Luis is present.’

‘I particularly like this project because it is oriented towards entrepreneurship. This project will be very important, it will open many doors onto the labour market for athletes’, said María Dolores García, UCAM president, after signing the agreement. Along these lines, Alejandro Blanco pointed out that ‘what is important is to help athletes so that they are prepared to face the great competition of day-to-day life’, and he recalled the figure of the UCAM founder: ‘The spirit of José Luis (Mendoza) ever present; which is that we can help each other and build a better society.’ Borja Larragán remarked that the athletes will have a wide range of possibilities to enhance their abilities, as ‘they can learn, from marketing to other disciplines; there will be many activities at UCAM HiTech. Like this they will have an alternative, and will feel more confident when they retire from sports.’