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Splash Competition San Francisco (Sept. 2011)
All contestants:
MindGames, Inc.
Location: 916 West Knoll Drive, West Hollywood, California 90069, United States United States
Founded in: 2009
Stage: 1.0 (formal launch)
Number of employees: 1-5
Funding history:
- Date: 07/2011, Seed: undisclosed amount (post valuation: undisclosed amount).
Investors: Charles Tobin, Larry Tobin
- Date: 11/2010, Seed: undisclosed amount (post valuation: undisclosed amount).
Investors: Matt MacPhail
Profitable year: 2012
Short URL: vator.co/mindgames
Awards and mentions
8436_299
Awarded for being one of the ten finalists in the September 2011 Vator Splash competition in San Francisco.
8436_232
Awarded for design of MindGames logo/corporate site and MindSports games.
Testimonials

It's the people that make the company and the product. I've known these founders through my time as CTO, MTV Networks, Yahoo Entertainment, and Myspace. These are the creative, digital "real thing."

Nobody knows gaming as well as these two guys and nobody knows better how to deliver a quality digital interactive experience. They literally live it and breathe it. And, importantly, they are both proven entrepreneurs to boot - you can trust them with your money.

MindGames is the culmination of nearly 20 years of sports-oriented interactive game theory and development. Eric & Larry are pioneers, innovators and leaders in this particular entertainment form. Their games tap core interests of all sports fans who are steeped in sports history and want to share their passion in a competitive environment.

My friends at MindGames are longtime interactive gaming minds with extensive track records of success. I've worked with both Larry and Eric before, and I'm sure their current venture is a winner. They get this space, and they're going to succeed.

MindGames, Inc.

The Knowledge Gaming Company
Startup/business
California, United States United States
http://www.mindcorporate.com

MindGames builds trivia and knowledge-based games for fans of sports, music, politics and more. Fans compete with other fans and against their archrivals for pride, prizes and fun. Our games are distributed through the Web, Facebook and mobile.

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Company description

The first MindGames product is a suite of sports-specific casual social games. These free, quick-to-play games allow fans to compete for their favorite teams and against their archrivals. The game is a single-player experience, allowing fans to play trivia and knowledge-based challenges such as player image identification and ordering/stacking puzzles. Fans compete for fun, team pride, status and sports memorabilia prizes.

MindSports Baseball; MindSports Football prizes page

MindGames has partnered with the NFL Players Association to launch MindSports Football on Facebook. We use licensed player photos as virtual trading cards: collectible cards used to unlock bonuses and special features. We generate revenue by selling these cards, and through advertising and sponsorship. A demo of our baseball trivia game was also developed on Facebook in 2010.

MindSports Football trivia question; MindSports Football question result

The appeal of trivia gaming is acutely strong for sports fans, for whom having a deep knowledge of the game is ingrained in the culture. Yet this large audience, with more than 30MM playing fantasy games, is currently being underserved by both the sports media sites and casual game developers. This audience doesn't want CityVille dressed up as CollegeTown - they want content and formats that are native to them.

We are currently in terms negotiation on a unique opportunity to license content from the NBA to develop MindSports NBA Basketball, leveraging team logos and retired player images. In parallel we are speaking with the NHL and the NHL Players Association about development of MindSports Hockey. And we are exploring other relationships both domestic and internationally.

MindSports Basketball; MindSports Hockey

In the long term, we see our gaming platform as a leverageable asset that can be used to colonize new content verticals such as music, entertainment and politics, and also extended into the skill-gaming space.

We are seeking incremental investment to (1) develop seven additional casual sports games, (2) develop eight head-to-head sports skill games, enabling fans to legally wager on their knowledge, and (3) develop a massively multiplayer trivia and knowledge gaming tournament platform based on online poker.


Team
  • Eric LaVanchy
    Eric LaVanchy | Team member
    Eric LaVanchy has developed dozens of games played by millions of users that have generated tens of millions in revenue. He founded and sold a 'Web 1.0' game company, managed a major UK gaming brand.
  • Laurence Tobin
    Laurence Tobin | Team member
    Larry Tobin served as VP of Product for FOX Sports Interactive from 2005 to 2009. Prior to FOX, Tobin spent six years as Director of Fantasy Sports for Yahoo!.
Business model

The initial suite of sports games generate revenue through sales of the virtual player cards, as well as traditional advertising and integrated sponsorship.

Competitive advantage

Currently, there is no direct competition in the market. But we face potential emerging competition from two sources: major sports media sites such as ESPN and Fanhouse, and game developers such as Playdom and Crowdstar. However, there are significant institutional barriers to entry for the above entities: lack of resources and core for sports media sites, and female focus and lack of 'sports DNA' for game developers.