Today's Entrepreneur: Laurence Tobin

Kristin Karaoglu · July 27, 2012 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/28a1

Everything takes longer than you expected and costs more than you planned

Today's Entrepreneur is Laurence Tobin, founder of MindGames. According to his VEQ Laurence is a thought leader and is good at product management and project development.

 Vator’s community is the home to entrepreneurs who embrace their passion and follow their dreams. Our profiles allow members to express themselves by sharing their interests, lessons learned, as well as bits and pieces of their roller-coaster journey.

These profiles give entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase themselves and tell their story. So if you are an entrepreneur, a serial entrepreneur, or even an aspiring entrepreneur, we'd like to hear from you.


I am a(n):
Entrepreneur
 

Companies I've founded or co-founded:
MindGames

Companies I've invested in:
MindGames

Startups I worked for:
MindGames

If you are an entrepreneur, why?
I want to invent something cool.

My favorite startups:
Dropbox, Spotify, Groupon

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?
The most rewarding thing is being able to move quickly to develop cool things and see them being used by real world consumers. As for the most frustrating ... that could take a LONG time :-)

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?
1. Everything takes longer than you expected and costs more than you planned.
2. You will shoot yourself in the foot -- several times. Learn from it and move on.
3. Every conversation is a good one ... you never know where it might lead

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Kristin Karaoglu

Woman of many skills: Database System Engineer; SplashX event producer; Author of Startup Teams

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MindGames, Inc.

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

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.

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Laurence Tobin

Joined Vator on

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!.