Watch the next big esports startups pitch at ESI Digital Summit

Esports Insider is pleased to reveal the companies taking part in The Clutch Digital, a unique opportunity that allows selected esports startups to promote and pitch themselves to an esteemed panel of judges in return for mentorship, visibility, and the chance to obtain funding.

Presented by Esports Global, the esports and gaming investment venture, The Clutch Digital forms part of the ESI Digital Summit, the first dedicated virtual B2B esports conference spanning two days on May 26th and 27th.

The Clutch Digital Announcement - Watch the next big esports startups pitch at ESI Digital Summit

Over 20 startups applied to take part in The Clutch Digital and only four made it through to the event – which will provide them with an invaluable opportunity to showcase their product to the wider esports world. The Clutch Digital will see the return of a number of partners, including Esports Global which returns as a presenting partner, judge and lead sponsor, and venture capital firm BITKRAFT, which returns as part of the esteemed judging panel.

Barclays Ventures, Station12 Ventures, and We Are Nations also join the lineup of judges who will decide the winning startup who will be offered guidance and mentorship that will help elevate their company. Each startup will have just five minutes to pitch, the judging panel will then have 10 minutes to ask questions and test the mettle of each pitch. The investors will decide who pitched and responded to the questions the best, and whose proposal seems worthy of receiving The Clutch trophy. The winner will be announced during the ESI Digital Summit on May 27th.

Meet the startups

Puntt – CEO Phil Adam’s will present the world’s first esports player betting platform. “A bespoke platform and AI to provide customers more choice, better value and a fair customer experience.”

TEAMS – CEO James Duffield will present his solution for connecting gamers. “We know multiplayer games (especially esports) are better played with friends. Currently, it’s difficult to find people who are available at the same time, with the same experience, ambition and motivation.”

Gamerpro – CEO Gary Sonyak will present “an esports service provider, opening up mobile esports – connecting both gamers and publishers by providing a brand new layer of monetisation for mobile games.

FANFUNDER – CEO David Crossley presents a fan funded powered platform dedicated for gaming and esports that will “enable grassroots, amateur, semi-pro and pro esports enthusiasts to reach the next level whether it be onboarding to esports, entering a competition or starting up an esports business.”

Meet the judges

The Clutch Digital Judges - Watch the next big esports startups pitch at ESI Digital Summit

  • Dave Martin – Director of Esports Global
  • Malte Barth – Founding Partner of BITKRAFT
  • David Gowans – Head of Creative Technologies, Games & Esports at Barclays
  • Patrick Mahoney – CEO of We Are Nations
  • Fabio La Franca – Investment Director for Station12

Malte Barth, Founding Partner of BITKRAFT, said: “I was honoured to be asked to join the inaugural The Clutch judges’ panel back at ESI London in 2019, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The process and atmosphere was both professional and fun, and we saw some excellent and noteworthy pitches from start ups too. I’m expecting more of the same at The Clutch Digital over 26-27th May, and look forward to being involved on behalf of BITKRAFT!”

Dave Martin, Director of Esports Global, added: “We’re excited to be the sponsorship of the Clutch for the second year running. When I sat on the judging panel last year it was inspiring to see the passion, dedication and quality of the pitches. We are excited to see even more this year.”

Sam Cooke, Managing Director and Co-founder of Esports Insider, concluded: “As an events and media company ESI has witnessed a number of startups try to enter the esports space and very few achieve success. The Clutch aims to cut through some of the noise our rapidly growing industry can make, we want to give promising startups a chance to have their voice heard. It’s fantastic to have the ongoing support of the Esports Global Fund and BITKRAFT and we’re delighted to welcome Barclays Ventures, Station12 Ventures and We Are Nations who can bring their invaluable experience to the table.” 


The ESI Digital Summit runs on May 26th and 27th from 2pm BST to 8pm BST, The Clutch Digital runs from 18:30 BST to 19:30 BST on Tuesday 26th, with the winner announced on the 27th. The full lineup of speakers and agenda can be found here, with more names and the full schedule available now. Tickets start at only £50 for a two-day pass. Follow Esports Insider on Twitter for the latest updates.

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