September I-Corps @ UC Berkeley: Wrap-Up

The popularity of E-sports continues to explode around the world. Betting on E-sports was already growing exponentially before lockdown and is now expected to be a $14B market by the end of 2020.

A team of students hailing from UC Berkeley and Harvard are building the tools needed to keep up with the brave new world of E-Sports bookmaking through their startup, Rimble.

The team, including MET student Shivam Shorewala, was a standout in our Setpember NSF I-Corps short course. Rimble conducted 17 customer discovery interviews during the one week course to identify the optimal go-to-market customer segment and its associated value proposition.

The team initially hypothesized that streamers would find value in tools to increase fan engagement. After talking with streamers, they found interest only in free tools…or those that would collect viewer donations. Pivoting to E-sports teams, the trio quickly learned that solutions would need to be proprietary to even be considered.

Pivoting again to interviewing American and Europeans based bookmakers (both those that did/did not support e-sports), the team gained a profound insight after digging in on the why. The biggest reason bookmakers haven’t shifted to e-sports is because there are no reliable analytics and real time predictions are non-existent. They further discovered the bookmakers who have shifted to in-house with data scientists are now using solutions that are losing them money.

Now that they’ve found a pain point, what’s next? A pilot program with a white-paper study on the effectiveness of their odds and rating system. Stay tuned!