HOUSTON INNOVATORS PODCAST EPISODE 35
Houston esports software startup poised to have best month amid pandemic
When you think about the types of industries that are having a moment during the COVID-19 crisis, it's hard to deny the growth in exposure and viewers esports and gaming has seen across the world.
Mainline, Houston startup that develops software for esports tournaments at the collegiate level has seen opportunity in the gaming sector's growth. This year, Mainline is poised to onboard over 100 schools to their system, and, while most of those schools were lined up before the pandemic, the process has been sped up, says Chris Buckner, co-founder and CEO of Mainline on the Houston Innovators Podcast.
"Everyone is looking for how to get sports, or esports, in front of people because everyone is just missing [sports] so much," Buckner says. "We've been very fortunate to work in the industry we do."
On campuses this past spring, basketball was cut short, baseball was canceled, and football's status is currently unknown. Colleges are looking for a way to connect with and engage students, Buckner says. And, Mainline has even been able to attract interest on the professional level.
"Our June will pretty much be the best month of our company, and a lot of that is driven by the fact that everyone is looking for a digital solution rather than an in-person solution," Buckner says.
The business of esports was already growing, but COVID-19 has lit a fire for companies with solutions in the industry. Buckner says at the start of the pandemic, he had to lay off employees that were focused on physical events. Now, in light of the growth of business, he says he's looking to hire as well as raise another round of funding next spring.
Buckner shares more about the opportunities — as well as challenges — COVID-19 has posed for the esports startup on the podcast. Listen to the full interview below — or wherever you get your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.