Wayne Kimmel of SeventySix Capital joins Nick to discuss Sports Tech and the Future of eSports. In this episode, we cover:
- Talk about the investment focus and approach of your firm
- When did Ryan Howard start working w/ you and how did he become a part of the leadership team?
- Talk a bit about sportstech has evolved over the past decade.
- All these players or former players are getting involved on the investment-side… some pretty savvy, some more green… good thing or bad thing?
- What lens or framework does your firm use to segment the sportstech landscape?
- I’ve heard SportsTech categorized into Athlete performance tech, broadcast audience enjoyment tech, and In-person experience tech. Do you consider startups in these categories and where have you seen the most opportunities?
- eSports (ie. video games as a sport)… has exploded in popularity. Talk a bit about what you’re seeing in esports and how you’re approaching it from an investment standpoint.
- I know a number of sports tech investors that avoid the youth, amateur and collegiate markets, b/c they think all the money is in the professional markets. Missed opportunity or is there something to this position?
- Lessons from owning the USFL champions, the Stars?
- What are the specific ways you get involved with portfolio companies?
- You’ve spoken a lot about the importance of networking, and even wrote a book about it. What key lessons do you have for listeners w/ regard to networking?”
- Andre Iguadola runs a player’s tech summit every year in SF with attendees including Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Andre Agassi, Joe Montana, and many others.
- Wayne believes the traits required to be successful as an entrepreneur are the same traits that these professional athletes have mastered on the field.
- Getting back up when you’ve been knocked down may be the most trait for athletes and founders.
- The two primary sports tech areas they focus on are e-sports and sports betting.
- Many VCs categorize sports tech into three categories 1) Athlete performance 2) Broadcast audience enjoyment and 3) in-person experience.
- SeventySix also makes investments at the convergence of Sports and Retail– providing places for folks to play, learn and be entertained.
- Wayne expects amateur arenas, all across the U.S., to exists within the next 3-5 years.
- The enthusiasm and engagement of e-sports fans often exceeds that of fans of the big 4 sports (football, basketball, baseball, hockey).
- Within the professional ranks, there are fewer enterprise clients (teams) and they are highly secretive of the tech they’re using.
- Within the amateur market for e-sports, the little leagues, highschool leagues, AAU circuits, etc. have not been setup yet. Many new markets will be created.
- The most important aspect to networking is getting up off the couch. You need to get out and meet people in-person.
- Business cards are still critical in today’s digital world. It’s a great ice breaker and a way to stay in touch.
- Entrepreneurship is never a straight line to the top. There will be dark times and many opportunities to give up. Pure hustle is what it’s all about.