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SportTechie Covers S11 World Cup Fantasy

From the piece by SportTechie's Joe Lemire:

During a break from a tedious deposition a few years ago, Stoel Rives partner Teague Orgeman and his law colleague Thomas Braun started wondering why “there wasn’t a dominant—or even good, really—fantasy soccer platform out there,” Orgeman recalled.
Electronic Arts’ FIFA series and Sports Interactive’ Football Manager are among the most successful sports video and simulation games of all time. In Orgeman and Braun’s minds, however, no one had yet solved fantasy soccer.
Along with three other co-founders, they got to work developing what would become Starting 11, a daily fantasy game that launched last August ahead of the most recent English Premier League season, and which was updated last week to offer World Cup contests.
“While we were building it,” Orgeman said, “we asked what can we do that would be genuinely innovative, that takes advantage of technology that maybe didn’t exist three or four years ago?”
Starting 11—which offers cash and free games in the U.K., Canada, Germany and 33 U.S. states—includes two original features. The first is the ability to make live substitutions, like real soccer. While matches are ongoing, a fantasy manager can swap out up to three players on his or her team for others active at the same time.

Keep reading at SportTechie.

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S11 Announces World Cup Release in Four Countries!

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Starting 11 is thrilled to announce the release of our World Cup contests for iOS and Android devices in the UK, Canada, Germany and 34 U.S. states. 

This is a tremendous milestone for our team. We're proud to be one of the only fantasy platforms in the world to offer real-money fantasy contests internationally. To achieve this milestone, we have partnered with Skrill, a world leader in payment solutions in the gaming space. 


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As we celebrate our World Cup launch, we are also reflecting on the major milestones the Starting 11 team has achieved in the last 10 months. We launched our free MVP version worldwide to the rabid global soccer fan base in August 2017, won the 2017 Minnesota Cup High Tech Division in October 2017, secured a UK Gambling Commission license and a $300K seed round in early 2018, and launched our cash game MVP in March 2018.

With the 2018 World Cup and the recent U.S. Supreme Court sports gambling decision opening up innovation potential in the fantasy sports space, we couldn't be more excited about what the rest of 2018 will bring.


For a quick primer on how to play Starting 11's new World Cup version, check out the video below, and for more details on our game please see our Player Guide.

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Starting 11 Moves Into Beta/Space Startup Hub In Downtown Minneapolis

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What a great view from Beta/Space at WeWork in Capella Tower! Thanks to the leadership of the great folks at Beta.MN, Starting 11 will be part of the free startup hub Beta/Space for the next six months. 

Check out the news coverage of the new initiative from the Star TribuneTwin Cities Business Magazine, and MinneInno, and join us in celebrating the launch of Beta/Space on Monday, June 11, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Beta Space Launch Party.

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U.S. Supreme Court Sports Gambling Decision Turbocharges Innovation Potential in Fantasy Space

Here's the story from MinneInno, featuring Starting 11 CEO Teague Orgeman's take on the decision:

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All bets are off – or on. That's for states to decide after a new Supreme Court decision today, which struck down a federal law that had banned sports gambling throughout most of the country. 

The case addressed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which prohibited states from allowing betting on sporting events. The law exempted Nevada (because you know... Vegas) and three other states. Today's case, Murphy v. National College Athletic Association, specifically concerned New Jersey, but has the potential to impact the entire country, where it's estimated that Americans annually place $150B in illegal wagers on sports.

There's a lot to dissect here. Seriously. Today's ruling could have major implications for media companies, state tax revenues and even arguments about how college athletes are compensated. We could dedicate three whole Beats to picking this thing apart, but for now, let's take a look at Minnesota. 

Minnesota is not one of the states that have already passed legislation to quickly allow for sports betting, but that could change. Rep. Pat Garofalo will introduce a bill tomorrow to tax and regulate the industry, setting up a state wagering commission and allowing for online wagering and physical parlors. There are only five days left in the current legislative session – not enough time to pass the bill, but Garofalo hopes to get something passed before the start of the Minnesota Vikings season this fall. 

Today's decision was met with excitement from Twin Cities sports startups like Starting 11, a fantasy soccer platform that allows users to place bets on matches. Starting 11 CEO Teague Orgeman told Minne Inno that the company is pleased with and excited by today's ruling. Orgeman does not expect any significant, short-term impact on Starting 11's day-to-day operations, but believes that new laws could open up more possibilities for what products and partnerships the company is able to offer in the U.S. 

Orgeman, an attorney by trade, expects that up to 10 states will enact their own sports betting regulatory systems in the next 90 days. More states will follow suit. 

"There will be – and ought to be – a flurry of innovation and investment flowing into the sports gaming space in response," Orgeman said. "The stage is set for the $150B annually bet illegally on sports in the United States to come out of the shadows. That's a good thing."

 

 

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NYC Sports Tank Next Gen Arena To Feature S11

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On April 30, Starting 11 will participate in the Sports Tank Next Gen Arena in New York City. We're looking forward to the chance to connect with the sports industry's most influential investors and executives and to share Starting 11's exciting progress and plans for the 2018 World Cup. 

Sports Tank is the worlds #1 sports specific pitch event, providing sports-related startup companies the opportunity to pitch to strategic investors. The Next Gen Arena is a platform for 30 early stage startups to showcase their business to investors, world-class sports executives and many special guests in the sports industry. Two of those Next Gen arena companies will be selected to pitch on stage during the Sports Tank pitch event on May 1. 

 

 

 

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Cash Games are LIVE in the UK, US & Canada!!

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With the international launch of real-money contests on both iOS and Android platforms, Starting 11 has achieved a huge business milestone. We're currently *live* with cash contests for the English Premier League (in British pounds, of course) in the U.K., Canada, 33 U.S. states, and Washington D.C.

Players can download the Starting 11 app for free and compete in both free and cash fantasy contests. For more on the ins and outs of our new cash contests, click here and here.

In addition to being the only truly live daily fantasy soccer platform in the world with real-time substitutions, we're now one of the world's few fantasy platforms that permits play for real money across international borders. This achievement is the culmination of over a year of hard work from our team and partners, and we are thrilled with the excitement and great response from Starting 11 fans on both sides of the Atlantic.

Gearing up for the World Cup!

Starting 11 is even more excited for the 2018 World Cup this summer. We'll be releasing a World Cup version of the app ahead of the tournament, which will be watched by 3.5 billion people around the world. Starting 11 will be ready to go with contests almost every day throughout the month-long competition. Start training now!

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MN Cup Launch Party!

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Thanks to the Minnesota Cup for inviting Starting 11 to share our latest company successes and our path to winning the Cup's 2017 High Tech Division. At the 2018 Minnesota Cup launch event this week, Starting 11 co-founder Amanda Heyman spoke to a room packed with entrepreneurs and investors. Amanda shared the stage with Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey, Equals3 co-founder Dan Mallin and Local Crate co-founder Frank Jackman. 

The Minnesota Cup was a fantastic experience for our team; it connected us with mentors, advisors, investors, media attention, and momentum. We're proud to be part of the terrific Minnesota Cup ecosystem and look forward to giving back to the community as we grow.

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S11 at Sportcon

Starting 11 represented at February 2nd's Minneanalytics Sportcon event, which over 1,300 people attended. Starting 11 CTO Alex Ryan serves as the Sportcon co-chair, and she was instrumental in organizing the massively successful conference. 

Starting 11 CEO Teague Orgeman participated in the Startup Showcase (see video above, courtesy of Tech.mn) and later moderated a fantasy sports panel in front of a packed room. The panel featured Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) president and Fanball founder Paul Charchian, MLS Fantasy Stats founder Ryan Anderson, and FSTA chairman and Rotowire.com president Peter Schoenke (from left to right, below).

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The conference featured more than 80 top experts from pro sports, academia and tech. Speakers included representatives from many of our local pro sports teams, including the Minnesota Twins, United FC, Vikings and Wild. 

Read the conference recap here.

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S11 Secures UK Gambling Commission License

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After a rigorous review process and independent third-party compliance testing, Starting 11 is proud to announce it has secured a UK Gambling Commission License. The UK is known for its long-established, exacting regulatory standards in this arena, and for its creation of a market that can be trusted by operators and players alike.

"This is huge for us," CEO Teague Orgeman said. "We've now been certified and tested to some of the highest standards in the world, and we can confidently launch cash games out to the world knowing Starting 11 meets those high standards."

With this new license, Starting 11 is poised to offer cash games in the UK, as well as in legal states within the United States and in Canada. 

Specifically, the UK Gambling Commission has awarded Starting 11 a "Combined Remote Operating Licence." This makes Starting 11 one of a handful of fantasy companies in the world to have secured this type of UK license.

The ISO-accredited UK company NMi Gaming, a market leader in gaming compliance testing and auditing, performed the independent third-party compliance testing on Starting 11's platform. NMi certified compliance with the UK Gambling Act of 2005 and remote gambling and software technical standards.

"Achieving UK licensing and independent third-party compliance testing is a significant business milestone for Starting 11," Orgeman said. "We can now head into the rest of the English Premier League season and the summer World Cup with cash games. Our users have been asking for cash games since day one, and we are ready to deliver."

 

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Heating Up the Sports Tech Scene

 (left to right) John Peterson of MatBoss, Teague Orgeman of Starting 11, and Tyrre Burks of Player’s Health

(left to right) John Peterson of MatBoss, Teague Orgeman of Starting 11, and Tyrre Burks of Player’s Health

Twin Cities Business magazine featured Starting 11 CEO and co-founder, Teague Orgeman in a big spread discussing the booming local sports tech scene.

From the article:

CEO Teague Orgeman is thinking big and looking to the World Cup, being held this summer in Russia. Orgeman says it could offer a worldwide stage; the 2014 World Cup was watched on television by 3.2 billion viewers.

“We’re going to have contests for that available in a number of different countries,” says Orgeman, who quit his job as a lawyer in May 2017 to help start and lead the new company.

Starting 11 won the high-tech division of the 2017 MN Cup entrepreneurial competition, rising to the top of the 60 companies that submitted plans in that category. The award meant $30,000 and access to the broader business community.

In contrast to most fantasy sports, Starting 11 is a daily game and allows users to make substitutions while a match is in progress. Most people associate fantasy sports with NFL football, but it’s a different story outside the U.S. Orgeman notes that the United Kingdom’s Premier League has 5.6 million users for its own fantasy platform.

“For us it’s really about scaling,” says Orgeman. “It’s about the ability to be able to successfully market what we’re doing internationally.”

Read the full article here.

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Greater MSP Profiles S11

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Thanks to Greater MSP for profiling Starting 11 as part of its MSP Innovation initiative. 

From the article, quoting Starting 11 CEO Teague Orgeman and CMO/GC Amanda Heyman:

What’s next: Cash games, league play and worldwide competition

Orgeman and Heyman are even more excited about 2018. “People want cash games. We’ll have cash games. People want leagues, where they play people they know. We’ll have that,” said Heyman.

More importantly, the game will start expanding to other leagues around the world, broadening the potential base and increasing revenue through the year. “We’ll be fully expanded in time for the 2018 World Cup,” said Orgeman. With 3.2 billion viewers, “that will be our springboard to other leagues.”

“We designed it to be able to grow really, really fast,” added Heyman, noting that with the basic game established, Starting 11 can add other leagues relatively simply. “All we need to do is plug in a new data feed and change the language.”

Read the full article here.

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S11 Enters Global HYPE - Sports Innovation Top 50 Program

We're so pleased to announce that Starting 11 has been selected for the global HYPE - Sports Innovation Top 50 Program. This program is renowned worldwide for launching the world's most innovative sport startups. 

The TOP 50 serves as a fast lane for startups, and provides access and engagement with top global sports-related leaders within sports and tech corporations, VCs & investors, sports stakeholders, etc. In addition, the program provides enhanced media exposure, building credibility through ongoing activity.

HYPE - Sports Innovation is the largest sports innovation ecosystem with over 26,000 leaders and key decision makers, including sports and global technology brands, academia, investors and startups. HYPE- Sports Innovation is running the TOP 50 program for the most innovative sports startups and additional core activities around the world, to advance its mission to impact people's lives through the power of sports and innovation.

Our team will have the opportunity to participate in  major global HYPE Sports Innovation events, including the UK English Premier League final event and the 2018 FIFA World Cup event in Moscow. Learn more here.

 

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Focus on 2017 MN Cup Winners

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The January 2018 edition of Twin Cities Business magazine included a special publication featuring the 2017 MN Cup. As the 2017 High Tech Division Winner, Starting 11 was featured alongside our fellow division winners.

Read all about it here.

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Starting 11 at Sportcon!

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Join us for Minnesota’s premier Sport Analytics Conference the Friday before Minneapolis hosts the Super Bowl!  Starting 11 CEO Teague Orgeman will be moderating a fantasy sports panel and will be pitching the company at the Sportcon event. 

Explore the many ways in which data-driven decision making continues to play a major role in sports, with a stellar lineup of speakers from academia, professional teams and the tech industry. This free event is perfect for sports fans, as well as analytics enthusiasts from any field. Learn more at minneanalytics.org/sportcon.

 

 

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Startup Capital of the North Showcase

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Check out Starting 11 and a group of fantastic MN sports tech startups at the Super Bowl week showcase on January 30! Registration and details here.

Description from the organizers: 

It’s Super Bowl week in Minneapolis! Join us to celebrate the breadth of innovation across the Startup Capital of the North. We can’t think of a better way to share our Northern pride than showcasing great ideas from Minnesota's leading startups, including the rapidly growing sports tech community.

The event will kick off with presentations from the founders of an all-star lineup of MN Cup winners over the past decade. Following these updates, we will be hosting a demo hour of the emerging local sports and student startups. Join us for appetizers and drinks to connect with leading entrepreneurs and celebrate the Startup Capital of the North!

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We're On Fire!

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We're proud to have been named to MinneInno's inaugural 50 on Fire awards list! MinneInno's 50 on Fire Awards are designed to shine a little extra light on the local individuals and businesses truly setting the local startup scene on fire. 

Join us on January 24 at the 50 on Fire awards event to celebrate the Twin Cities tech and innovation ecosystem. Tickets are here.

 

 

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