BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, an early stage investor and incubator exclusively focused on the esports sector, has today announced two new additions to the team. Minard Hamilton will join as a US Partner, whilst Greg Essig will join as Head of Business and Product Strategy in the firm’s Santa Monica office.
Hamilton brings considerable experience in the gaming, mobile, and sports sectors. At Six Degree Games, Hamilton served as CEO for the publisher of online and mobile games in partnership with a number of US sports leagues. Prior to this, Hamilton served as Senior VP at ESPN International and General Manager at ESPN.com International.
Of his decision to move to BITKRAFT, he told Esports Insider: “I joined BITKRAFT for three reasons. First, I believe esports as a sector will see tremendous growth over the next five years.
“Having been involved in building companies in the early days of the internet and mobile, I believe it will be equally fun and lucrative to do so in esports. Second, I’ve spent the bulk of my career in games and sports, and esports lives at the intersection of both of those sectors, playing perfectly to my experience. Third, I really enjoy working with entrepreneurs. Being one myself, I know just how challenging it is, so I have tremendous respect and admiration for anyone who picks up that mantle.
Greg Essig brings with him yet more experience from the world of gaming, as well as entertainment. AT BITKRAFT his role will be to support portfolio companies with both product and business development, specifically in the US. In the past, Essig has led Mobcrush’s Business Development initiatives and worked at both game developer FunPlus and Apple. At Apple he managed the games section of the App Store during its historic growth phase.
He shared his views on why he decided to join BITKRAFT in Santa Monica: “I joined BITKRAFT because I love esports and have been wanting to dive deeper into the space for some years now. I believe we are at a very exciting time in gaming history.
“There are now literally billions of people who have grown up with games being their predominant entertainment medium. The stigmas around gaming are breaking down, and esports is a natural evolution with its laser-focus on the community and fan engagement. Like traditional sports, this environment yields many opportunities outside of simply starting a team or developing a game. BITKRAFT understands this paradigm shift through cumulative years of experience and is uniquely situated to help foster new companies that service the increasing needs of the sector.”
We asked Greg where he feels the most exciting investment areas in esports are right now. He responded: “I think the most exciting new spaces for esports investment align with new exciting technology in general. Better communication tools, data analysis and visualization, AI, shared experiences and AR all get me up in the morning. There’s lots of room for disruption in this space and, better yet, the fans are eagerly awaiting it.”
Jens Hilgers, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures Founding Partner noted: “Minard and Greg both bring a thorough understanding of the fast-moving esports landscape and impressive personal networks which will add tremendous value for our current portfolio companies. Their joining the team allows BITKRAFT to be faster and more impactful in the US market and provide more opportunities for esports startups seeking funding to reach us. Thanks to both Minard and Greg for sharing our passion and vision and becoming part of our team.”
With fourteen global esports investments, including four in North America, sourcing further deals in the Los Angeles esports hub was the next step for BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, which is headquartered in Berlin.
Esports Insider says: With Hilgers leading the BITKRAFT charge the company always looked to be well placed to lead the esports investment and incubator space, and these appear to be two astute new signings for the Santa Monica team.