The Esports Startup: Episode 2

Episode Timeline

Episode 2 of The Esports Startup is live! Check it out on Apple Podcasts, or if you don’t have an iPhone you can head over to Anchor.fm to see which of your favorite podcast platforms it’s available on!

1:25 — Closing a seed round of funding, lawyers & negotiating with your investors
12:50 — Press Releases and why you should Always Be Raising (ABR)
17:59 — Moving from NYC to LA and why WeWork could be a great option for your startup
23:18 — Hiring your first employees & recruiters vs. hired.com vs. job boards
27:58 — Building our first product and the importance of user feedback
34:57 — What to expect in your first board meeting
42:35 — Finding our first office space and moving out of WeWork

Closing a Seed Round of Funding, Lawyers & Negotiating With Your Investors

Closing a seed round is significantly more difficult than being accepted to a startup accelerator. In this episode, we cover some of the challenges we faced closing our seed round as well as common points that come up which you should be on the lookout for!

I’ll link to some of the documents and decks that we created to help us raise our seed round of funding below! Keep in mind that many of the details relating to Esports One in these documents will be outdated as they were last updated about a year and a half ago.

👉Esports One Pitch Deck – Seed RoundThe pitch deck that we created to raise our Seed round of funding

👉Investor Followup Email TemplateAn email template we created to follow up with investors we met at the Quake Capital and MIT PlayLabs’ accelerator Demo Days

👉Seed Round Cold Email TemplateAn email template we created to cold-email VCs that we wanted to pitch but didn’t have an intro to and/or hadn’t met yet

One of the earliest (good) mockups of the Esports One platform, back when it was a customizable/modular viewing experience for fans

Press Releases and Why You Should “Always Be Raising” (ABR)

Press releases may seem challenging if you’ve never created one before; there is a lot to know and keep in mind throughout the process! We’ll go into more detail in another episode, but if you want to learn more today you can check out the article I wrote about how we planned and executed the beta-launch of Esports One, which includes a lot of detailed information on our press release.

We go in-depth on the “Always Be Raising” mantra in the podcast, and you can read even more about it here.

Moving From NYC to LA and Why Co-Working Could be a Great Option for Your Startup

Quake Capital, the first startup accelerator we attended, was located in Manhattan. The second accelerator, MIT PlayLabs, was located in Boston! Needless to say, moving across the country was a bit scary, but also very exciting (as you can see from the pics below)!

Working around the kitchen table at our Marina Del Ray appt (1st stop after moving from the east coast)
A rare picture of our first WeWork office! It only fit four or five people comfortably, so we moved to bigger WeWork offices as we expanded
The WeWork Scooter Gang #E1

Hiring Your First Employees & Recruiters vs. Hired.com vs. Job Boards

Even after you have the money from a successful round of fundraising in your bank account, it can seem like a daunting task to go out and actually spend that money to start hiring employees! We cover whether you should be using recruiters, job boards, or a site like Hired.com (somewhere in the middle) in-depth on this episode of the podcast and discuss what options we used for our early hires.

👉Front End Engineer Job DescriptionOne of our more recent job descriptions to give you a starting point

Building Our First Product and the Importance of User Feedback

Arguably nothing is as important in the early days of a startup than user feedback. You may think your idea is air-tight and that there will be thousands of users flooding to use your product when you release, but the reality is that unless you’re talking to your users early and often during the product development process, you’re likely going to miss the mark in some way.

What to Expect in Your First Board Meeting

If you found a startup and raise funding, the reality is that you will have goals you need to hit as a company. Board Meetings are how your Investors stay on top of the progress of the company, make any necessary approvals (high-cost purchases, equity grants, etc), and vote on any outstanding matters. You can listen to more about what to expect in your first board meeting in Episode 2 of The Esports Startup!

👉Esports One 1st Board Meeting PresentationWe had to remove some of the more sensitive content from the presentation, but this will give you a decent idea of the information we went over with our investors in our company’s first-ever board meeting!

Finding Our First Office Space and Moving Out of WeWork

WeWork (and high-quality co-working spaces in general) are great! You’re not locked into long contracts, they provide a range of services (IT, cleaning, networking events, etc), and you’re around a high number of passionate entrepreneurs. That being said, it’s very possible that you will grow to a point that co-working spaces cease to make financial sense and you’ll need to look for an office to call your own. It was a long (5+ months) search, but 100% worth it in the end.

Our first official office space 🙂
You’d be surprised how much difference having a dedicated conference room will make! Fun Fact: the right wall is painted with a special type of paint that turns it into a whiteboard!

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