First, identify if the juice is worth the squeeze. What this means is that you’ve got to pick your battles, you have to pick where to dedicate your energy, and you have to remember that there is no one single right path
Ihad the pleasure of interviewing Sharon Winter the COO and co-founder of Esports One, the first all-in-one Fantasy Esports platform. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Sharon previously worked at IBM’s Watson division before becoming CEO+founder of Hotpoint App, a CRM and data company for the entertainment and hospitality industries with over 2500 clients from Live Nation, Patron, Hakkasan, Wynn, and others. Sharon has experience building community-centered products within data-rich platforms. She’s on the mission of bridging the gap between esports and sports, and the endemics and non-endemics of the gaming world.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Since my background is in building community-centric products and robotics, entertainment, and human-computer interaction, I was floored when I came across the early Esports One team. I loved the mission and vision of building one-of-a-kind computer vision tech to read and understand what’s happening in every e-sport match, without the reliance or dependence on the game publishers. This tech created so many opportunities to build — and that’s what excites me to jump into the ship and build a team and drive our efforts towards utilizing this unique technology in a way that would yield the most powerful outcome — building a platform for viewers to get their “skin in the game” via an enriched fantasy experience.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing with Esports One that’s disruptive?
Everything we do is driven by our Computer Vision tech and our dedication to fueling the gaming community with positivity. Esports One created and manages several community and stats platforms that are all intertwined and offer a different experience
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
I have a set of very unique mentors. Its a special relationship and somewhat of a support group of 3 incredible other female founders. We all meet up regularly and talk through our business struggles together to collectively brainstorm solutions, and we are also the ones cheering each other on to success and eventually celebrating that success once milestones are finally hit. Its really unique and special to find a group of likeminded people who can advise you in your struggles, and celebrate you in your wins instead of viewing it as bragging. The 4 of us are inseparable and live on speed dial in each other’s phones.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Feel free to give stories or examples.
First, identify if the juice is worth the squeeze. What this means is that you’ve got to pick your battles, you have to pick where to dedicate your energy, and you have to remember that there is no one single right path.
How are you going to shake things up next?
Real-time fantasy esports — boom. Real-time fantasy has never been done in traditional sports because it’s nearly impossible to scale. Due to our computer vision tech, we’re able to bring that to life in more ways than one. Now imagine you’re sitting in an arena, watching the game, setting your predictions, and watching your score fluctuate at the same time — oh and you’re in a geo-location competition playing against other people who are sitting in the arena around you. That’s the future of competitive viewership in esports.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
StartUp Podcast. It’s absolutely incredible to listen to Alex’s story unfold as he negotiates every contract contemplates every tough decision and takes every leap in the birth and growth of Gimlet. This podcast is basically real-life recordings of every conversation Alex had as he built Gimlet and eventually sold it for 300M to Spotify. The podcast is definitely one of a kind and allows you to learn by experiencing his journey as opposed to listening to him tell a story.
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I’m passionate about increasing female esports participation. A movement I aim to start is developing a community among women in the space. At esports one, we’ve created a platform that simplifies esports, so any player can create a well-informed lineup in just a few minutes, while also building a community. My hope is to use this platform to bring new female players into fantasy esports.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite “Life Lesson” came from my dad. His advice, “no task is beneath you,” was deeply etched into various areas of my upbringing. It stuck with me — and today, I believe the phrase makes me a successful founder. On the daily I and each of the team members at esports one practice this by helping each other get tasks done as a team. As long as your task at hand drives the full team towards their ultimate mission — it’s exactly what you should be doing.
How can our readers follow you online?