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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.
Here's the story from MinneInno, featuring Starting 11 CEO Teague Orgeman's take on the decision:
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."
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.
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.
Thanks to TECHdotMN for covering Starting 11's 225k seed round!
Our Series A round opens this week. Stay tuned.
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.
TechdotMN founder Mike Bollinger interviewed Starting 11 co-founder Amanda Heyman at the 2017 Beta.mn event.
Starting 11 CMO and co-founder Amanda Heyman pitched Starting 11 during the 2017 Twin Cities Startup Week Women's Pitch Fest. Amanda gave a 3-minute pitch to an audience of over 300 people at the University of Minnesota McNamara Center on October 9.
The third annual Women’s Pitch Fest, hosted by WE*, featured 18 women entrepreneurs and was organized by Capita3. The Pitch Fest took place after the Minnesota Cup competition finale event, where Starting 11 was honored as the High Tech Division Winner.
Watch Amanda's pitch here (video courtesy of TECHdotMN):
Starting 11 is the winner of the Minnesota Cup High Tech Division! We are so proud of our team and excited to keep moving forward in the competition.
“We were honored to be in the same company with the high tech division semifinalists, and especially the finalists, Extempore and Team Genius, both of whom would have been deserving winners," said Starting 11 CEO Teague Orgeman. "And we’re very grateful to the MN Cup and its judges for this opportunity.”
We'll be competing for the Minnesota Cup's $50,000 Grand Prize on October 9. Good luck and congratulations to all the Division Winners!
From MinneInno: When you are trying to build a winning team, in sports or in business, sometimes the most valuable player to have is a lawyer.
At least that’s the case for Starting 11, a new daily fantasy soccer app built by three Twin Cities attorneys. The app, which debuted last week, aims to do away with the decades-old “set it and forget it mentality” in fantasy sports.
Users can choose new players before the start of each game, and are allowed up to three real-time, in-game substitutions that they can exercise whenever they like, just like a real soccer manager. Starting 11’s CEO Teague Orgeman and chief marketing officer Amanda Heyman are married, and have been lifelong fans of soccer and fantasy sports.
“I’ve been a pretty hardcore player of mostly football, but a few other things, for the last 20 years,” Orgeman said.
Our team is thrilled to launch the world's first live daily fantasy soccer platform, which allows users to make changes to their fantasy squad lineups in real time - just like a real-life soccer manager. As of today, players can start setting their lineups for the first matches of the 2017 English Premier League season that kicks off on August 12.
Challenge a friend to a Private 1 v 1 game, or find a new friend with our Public 1 v 1 feature. You can even find other Starting 11 users located within a pitch length (about 115m) to play against, so if you’re watching EPL Gameweek 1 from your favorite pub, sign up some new friends to play along the way. We also have winner-take-all and 50/50 contests for you to test your skills against groups of four and ten players.
We are currently offering free contests for players all around the world and in the United
States. Our team is working hard to add cash-based contests in the U.K., Canada, and over 40 U.S. states this fall.
Check out our new videos, official launch press release, and our fantastic writeup (pictured above) in the UK Fantasy Football Magazine! And sign up here for the latest Starting 11 updates, tips, news, and more.
Best of luck on the pitch.
The Associated Press quoted Starting 11 CEO Teague Orgeman in an article discussing the state of the fantasy market in light of new regulation and some fantasy companies deciding to exit the space.
Teague explained how the new fantasy regulations create more certainty for fantasy companies and allow new companies with legal compliance capacity to thrive.
From the AP article:
"Some new companies say they’re in a better position to succeed than their predecessors.
Teague Orgeman, co-founder of Starting 11, a Minneapolis-based daily fantasy soccer site hoping to launch soon, says his company’s contest will be more innovative than what’s already out there. And, as a practicing attorney, he’s prepared to navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape.
“We see opportunity, not the flip,” Orgeman said. “We think regulation is a good thing long-term for industry. It really wasn’t a deterrent.”"