Success Stories From the Baltic HR&ED Tech Accelerator: Click-Storm
Baltic HR&ED Tech Accelerator continues the acceleration program for HR-Tech and Ed-Tech talents. Throughout the 8-week program period, we will be sharing the interviews with participating startups that not only present their concept but also share the ambitious plans for the future.
It is almost one month in the Baltic HR&ED Tech Accelerator’s program, and we want to highlight our Customer Development & B2B Sales week by sharing an interview with Alex Talan, the CEO of Click-Storm, an esports tournament platform. Do you that once they had to install 100PCs for the esports festival in just 24 hours? Read more and find out more details about this story!
What is Click-Storm?
Click-Storm is an esports tournament platform. It’s a website where you can take part in esports tournaments, use a team-finder and find a team. Click-Storm can be used to create any sports event as well, like volleyball and basketball tournaments.
How did you come up with this idea?
I was playing Warcraft 3 competitively since the early 2000s and finished top 3 in local tournaments in War3 and Counter-Strike. I launched community events regularly while pursuing my PhD in chemistry.
We launched our first esports tournament commercially in 2011. After successful deals with sponsors, we built an MVP and decided to develop an esports platform to maintain connections with esports fans and participants. That allowed us to sell to brands with higher margins, by combining online exposure with offline, and later launch a B2C subscription.
I currently have a diploma as a physical trainer. I pursued this to understand the role of sports science in esports better. At the moment, I am an Assistant Professor on esports faculty for Moscow Sports University. In addition, I’ve been published in numerous scientific journals as an expert in utilizing esports to promote cognitive training.
In the last years, esports has become a unique tool to bind remote offices together, and we started to run such esports team building events.
A brief summary of market you work in
The esports market consists of 500 million fans in total. The corporate events market is $1.1 trillion with a 10% CAGR. 50% of corporate events are entertainment, and the average age of participants is 21–40 years old.
These reasons make esports a perfect tool, and Click-Storm is going to disrupt that market by providing a platform to set up esports and sports team building events right on a corporate portal.
Esports is the unique tool of the modern world — it’s the only tool that improves team building, trains verbal communication & helps to connect spread offices in several clicks.
Competitive advantages of Click-Storm
Click-Storm simply sets up a white-label for a corporation to deploy sports corporate portal with esports support. Today’s corporate portals are lacking that functionality. At the same time, lots of employees are involved in sports activities, meaning they have their ranks, tournament portfolio, etc.
Besides having esports functionality, Click-Storm provides HRs with tools to run traditional sports events, and it includes tournament brackets, ratings, profiles, and many more.
On top of that comes the science, Click-Storm has its brain-training tools that help to measure and improve cognitive performance. In order to develop it, we held our R&D and published science articles in reviewed journals.
To be short, our brain-trainers can measure cognitive skills and can be used to find out leaks in cognitive performance. For the reason to fix them, we use our proprietary algorithm to suggest which esports games you should be playing.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet?
Our team met at the tournaments, obviously, and have been working together for five years already. Our team includes:
Alex Talan, the CEO, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the esports department at Moscow Sports University. Delivered unique esports courses in several Universities in Russia. He has been in esports for 20 years as an esports player, team owner, and businessman. Held numerous events and festivals, knows programming languages that help to operate with a team of programmers in strict timeframes.
Artem Babkin, COO, is in esports for ten years. Through this period, he had won tournaments in StarCraft 2 & Mortal Kombat. Artem is also an experienced journalist, tournament director, and account manager.
Dan Toh, advisor, a game industry veteran from Singapore, who worked with DeNA, IAH Games, and holds his own Skyjin studio.
It is important to mention that Click-Storm team members have been professionally working in other game companies such as Empire, Forze, Begrip & Rush 3D. Also, they have played competitively & they have held executive marketing positions with their prior companies.
Mention the craziest customer-related story that happened in Click-Storm
Well, once we had to install 100 PCs in 24 hours to make sure that our esports festival would run okay. Sounds a bit crazy, right?
And actually, that was quite a challenge. We worked very hard by choosing the right subcontractor. Although it was an enormous amount of work, we managed to deliver it.
Where do you see your startup in five years?
We want to become a standard tool to run sports and esports activities inside a corporation. In order to achieve this, we will be working hard with our first clients to find out what features we need to improve exactly.
What are your biggest struggles at the moment?
Building a pipeline abroad. We work hard on a lead generation abroad at the moment. Also, we give our time to test different hypotheses of the value proposition. Corporations act the same everywhere, to be honest. What is different is the way we should deliver our messages.
In our domestic market, we are working hard to deliver contracts and selling to new clients.