Game streaming and the live streaming movement according to LiveCamp
|Richard Harris in Game Development Friday, July 13, 2018|
Live game streaming is huge, and Danika Laszuk talks about how accelerator programs are having a massive impact on the startup community and the future of live streaming in general.
Betaworks launched their 4th accelerator program, LiveCamp, which is now accepting submissions. This year, Camp will focus on companies looking to advance the "live" participation gaming and streaming ecosystem.
Here's how it works. Betaworks will choose 5-10 companies to build into culturally significant brands, similar to what they've created with Dots, Giphy and others. They are looking to see a high amount of female submissions and hopefully a 50% female class to ensure the end product creations are not your typical games.
There's a cultural movement forming around live streaming in gaming - from eSports to Peloton to HQ Trivia, live participation is impacting consumer behavior in tech. In the absence of offline community, they are aiming to form deeper connections online.
Betaworks creator, John Borthwick, is a bit of a legend in VC and NYC circles. Many credit him with building the NYC tech ecosystem into what it is today. He's spent 10 years focused on building / investing in iconic brands like Twitter.
Danika Laszuk leads betaworks Camp and we recently had the chance to catch up with her to talk about the impact that accelerator programs are having in the tech startup scene.
ADM: Why do you find accelerator programs important for the tech ecosystem?
Laszuk: Accelerator programs are crucial to helping the technology ecosystem thrive. Since accelerators typically target early stage, pre-seed startups, we are often placing bets before there are many indicators of success, but it is a great opportunity to select and incubate the next generation of startups that may become the next big business or cultural phenomenon. I also think it’s crucial for accelerators to look outside the usual networks for founders with great ideas, but aren’t otherwise plugged into the tech ecosystem.
ADM: What kind of benefits do accelerator programs offer startups?
Laszuk: Accelerator programs offer startups and entrepreneurs a wide variety of invaluable benefits including capital and beyond. In essence, a startup at the accelerator level is just starting out - they may have a product, but they still have a long way to go. While the details of each program vary, accelerators usually offer capital, mentoring workshops/one-on-one guidance sessions and access to their business network. We find this collaborative nature much more enriching as it allows startups to engage with experts on all levels in a variety of verticals and industries. This mindshare opens up each startup to diverse thinking that will both provide critique and solution to the challenging startup life.
At betaworks Camp, our thematic accelerator program consists of 11 weeks in-residence at betaworks to help early-stage companies with product development, platform strategy, data science, design, marketing, and fundraising. Entrepreneurs have access to betaworks teams and to a carefully curated group of industry and academic leaders to assist with both general company-building needs and with topics specific to each Camp’s theme. Each Camp company receives pre-seed funding of $200k in addition to the hands-on support.
ADM: What do you think is the hottest industry for early-stage startups right now?
Laszuk: We are very excited by live platforms that enable consumers to interact and participate, rather than merely passively consume media. That’s why Livecamp is our next accelerator program, focused on new live-streamed experiences impacting consumer behavior in gaming, sports, entertainment, fitness, education and more.
ADM: How do you think the growing popularity of live participation will impact the gaming and streaming industry?
Laszuk: We’re witnessing a cultural movement forming around live streaming and live gaming - in essence, gaming is becoming more like TV, and TV is becoming more like gaming. We think the stickiest and most compelling experiences will be those where the line between audience and performer (or streamer) becomes blurred as all participants have a hand in shaping the outcome.
ADM: What are the benefits of this live streaming movement for consumers and for brands?
Laszuk: For consumers, live streaming allows them to connect with other consumers around the world. We’ve seen consumers crave the type of connectivity where they can share and influence live events with one another.
For brands, live streaming allows them to engage with their customers in new and exciting ways. Live streaming creates a highly interactive experience that is affecting shopping, entertainment, gaming, sports, fitness, education and more, and brands can capitalize this to reach their audiences in deeper, more impactful ways.
ADM: What are the best examples you’ve seen of brands using live streaming successfully?
Laszuk: The most exciting examples are of companies using live streaming to provide a core product experience, rather than solely trying to figure out how to bolt on live streaming. One of the great recent examples of this is HQ Trivia, where the whole game is built around the audience coming together to play live. Another one is Peloton - there is a large library of classes their users can take any time, but the live-streamed classes are an entirely unique and compelling fitness experience.
ADM: Where do you see live streaming / gaming in the next 5 years?
Laszuk: 5 years is a long time in frontier technology! The coming of 5G networks will have a large impact, as live streaming will be mobile more reliably, which will open up access to millions of new consumers around the world, allowing new connections and experiences around every industry.
Read more: https://betaworks.com/camp/