The Betting Startups Podcast

The Betting Startups Podcast

Interviews and conversations with the founders & CEOs of the most promising startups competing for a piece of the $100+ billion sports betting industry

Episodes

September 29, 2022 31 min

Ep. 41 introduces you to Rob Klages and Kevin Kamto from AthleteX.

Hear them discuss:

  • Some of the core ideological concepts behind crypto and blockchain technology 
  • Their philosophical principles of transparency, openness, and fairness, and why only blockchain technology could enable those within the AthleteX platform
  • Why "tokenized fantasy sports was always an intuitive idea", and how a hackathon initially gave them the ...
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    Ep. 40 is guest hosted by Lloyd Danzig from Sharp Alpha Advisors, who introduces you to Nik Bonaddio, founder and CEO of BigBrain.

    Hear Nik discuss:

  • Appearing as a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, winning $100,000, and quitting his job the next day to pursue his first startup
  • Launching Numberfire as Moneyball for fantasy sports, and scaling it to $2m in revenue before exiting to Fanduel in 2015
  • His experience working ...
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    Ep. 39 introduces you to Rob Pizzola, co-founder of The Hammer Betting Network, which is the industry leader in providing trusted sports betting content.

    Hear him discuss:

  • His journey as a longtime betting content creator, and one of “the OG’s of Gambling Twitter”
  • The grind of betting professionally at scale over several years, and why he “would give up sports betting in a second” if he could
  • Why he believes in being price sensit...
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    September 8, 2022 23 min

    Ep. 38 introduces you to Michael Zavagno, co-founder and CEO of TopProp Fantasy, which is the next generation of daily fantasy sports.

    Hear him discuss:

  • Why he believes that TopProp’s head-to-head fantasy contests will “bring that competitiveness” back to fantasy sports
  • The learnings from launching last NFL season as a web-only product, and how that helped shape the recently-launched TopProp mobile app
  • The importance of intuitive...
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    September 2, 2022 29 min

    Ep. 37 introduces you to Kenneth Giles, co-founder and CEO of SimBull, which is the stock market for sports.

    Hear him discuss:

  • Leaving his “very stable nine to five job” as an actuary and why he decided to follow in his family’s path of entrepreneurship
  • How he came up with the concept of a sports stock market, which he believes can grow into a standalone category alongside betting and fantasy
  • Taking a contrarian approach by focus...
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    August 26, 2022 30 min

    Ep. 36 introduces you to Ross Fruin, co-founder and CEO of GridRival, which is the home screen for race fans.

    Hear him discuss:

  • How GridRival acquired 22,000 users within the first 5 days after launching, and how product virality helped it scale it to over 180,000 users in the first year
  • GridRival’s progression from season-long fantasy into DFS, and what he’s thinking about as the next step in his long-term plan
  • The challenges of...
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    August 18, 2022 25 min

    Ep. 35 introduces you to Cooper Lycan from SoBet, a sports betting media platform that publishes sports betting content from independent experts.

    Hear him discuss:

  • SoBet’s origins as a peer-to-peer betting product, which he pivoted into a premium content platform after learning about the challenges of “the liquidity issue”
  • His take on the creator economy and why it’s important to build a platform that allows creators to remain ind...
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    Ep. 34 introduces you to Dean Sisun and Jake Benzaquen from Prophet Exchange, which is the US sports betting exchange.

    Hear them discuss:

  • Moving to the UK to build experience in a regulated market where betting exchanges are a mature product category
  • Their impending product launch in New Jersey, and what it means to each of them to reach this milestone after four years of effort
  • The need to educate US customers on the benefits of...
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    August 4, 2022 27 min

    Ep. 33 introduces you to Brent Winston, co-founder and CEO of BetSwap, which is the most efficient, fully integrated, secondary marketplace technology for sportsbooks and platform providers.

    Hear him discuss:

  • His recent experience winning the First Pitch competition at the SBC Summit North America event
  • How BetSwap’s secondary marketplace for sports bets complements existing cashout features to the benefit of both bettors and oper...
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    Ep. 32 introduces you to Will Armitage and Phillip Stritzke from BestOdds.com, the destination for US bettors.

    Hear them discuss:

  • The advantage it provides to build a new brand with a category-defining domain name that “is part of the vernacular”
  • Their views on the affiliate landscape in the US market, and why the trend towards consolidation of affiliates “does make sense”
  • The advice they have for new aspiring affiliates to best ...
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    July 20, 2022 29 min

    Ep. 31 introduces you to Ben Cary, co-founder and CEO of CapWize, which combines expert human opinion with cutting-edge simulation models to help bettors make smarter picks.

    Hear him discuss:

  • His 2 key takeaways from the SBC Summit North America event, and what those might mean for the future of the North American betting and iGaming industry
  • Being selected as one of five finalists to present at the SBC First Pitch competition, an...
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    Ep. 30 introduces you to Sanjay Thakur, co-founder & CEO of Verdict MMA, which is the engagement platform for Mixed Martial Arts.

    Hear him discuss:

  • How a controversial judge’s decision in a UFC fight sparked the idea for Verdict, which started as a passion project with his high school friends
  • Why MMA as a sport is known for its passionate fans, and how Verdict was able to tap into that passion to acquire over 100k users
  • Verdi...
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    June 30, 2022 24 min

    Ep. 29 introduces you to Brady Sharp, co-founder & CEO of BroThrow, a patent-pending, social sports betting network.

    Hear him discuss:

  • The importance of establishing trust amongst users, and the need to build constraints in the product to enforce social accountability
  • Why the peer-to-peer model used by BroThrow makes it exempt from sports betting regulations, despite the fact that users are betting real money
  • The marketing ch...
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    June 23, 2022 24 min

    Ep. 28 introduces you to Zac Litwack, partner at Savage Ventures which is a venture operator that invests in, acquires, and operates high growth digital-first businesses.

    Hear him discuss:

  • Savage Ventures’ unique model being a “venture operator”, and how it is differentiated from more traditional venture investment firms
  • The opportunity they saw to apply their growth marketing expertise to the sports betting vertical, which led to...
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    Ep. 27 introduces you to Thomas Willomitzer, founder and CEO of SnapOdds, "the Shazam for sports betting" that makes it easier for people to find and place bets while watching games live.

    Hear him discuss:

  • His past startup experiences as co-founder of Last.fm (acquired for $280m) and identity verification platform Jumio
  • How he got the idea for creating 'the Shazam for sports' while watching the Superbowl with fri...
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    Ep. 26 introduces you to Robin MacDonald, co-founder and managing partner of Rubik Talent, which cultivates smart, diverse talent for global iGaming, PayTech & FinTech enterprises.

    Hear him discuss:

  • The unique way that Rubik is developing talent with specialized skills specific to the iGaming industry, and how it is helping to deploy that talent into partner organizations
  • Why Rubik prefers to work with industry employers tha...
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    June 8, 2022 29 min

    Ep. 25 introduces you to Pete Smaluck, founder and CEO of props.cash, which is the most comprehensive and effective player prop research tool on the market.

    Hear him discuss:

  • His former career as an elementary school math teacher, and how his passion for finding intuitive ways to teach math has influenced the props.cash product
  • How he developed math learning software using NBA data, and how he pivoted that software from educatio...
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    Ep. 24 introduces you to Benjie Cherniak, principal at Avenue H Capital, which invests in some of the most promising betting industry startups.

    Hear him discuss:

  • His transition from operating businesses to investing in them, and what he misses most about his days at Don Best
  • The importance of having founder/investor alignment of vision and ensuring both are "rowing the boat in the same direction"
  • How he's thinking a...
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    May 18, 2022 25 min

    Ep. 23 introduces you to Ted Mauze, co-founder and CEO of Chalkboard, which is a mobile app that offers messaging and synced bet tracking for sports bettors and fans.

    Hear him discuss:

  • How discussing sports betting in group messages with his college friends sparked the idea for building Chalkboard
  • Why he pushed back on the traditional advice of "launch early" in favor of staying in stealth mode while developing the core ...
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    Ep. 22 introduces you to John Latella and Grady Toombs, cofounders of Legacy Fantasy Sports, which is fantasy sports platform that includes both current and historical legacy athletes.

    Hear them discuss:

  • How a father/son debate about sports helped spark the idea for incorporating retired athletes into modern fantasy sports
  • Why their game is "pandemic proof" and how it can be played during gaps in the live sporting calend...
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