Hosting its first ever industry innovation showcase at The Trampery (Shoreditch – London), William Hill announced esports betting platform BetGame as the winner of its WHLabs Accelerator Programme.
BetGame a Manchester start-up focused on bridging the gap between mainstream console gaming and casual betting will take home £150,000 prize. William Hill will also partner with the unique start-up to maximise the commercial opportunities of BetGame’s services.
William Hill judges noted that the BetGame product had received positive feedback during its beta testing phase, and were further impressed by the products cross-platform capabilities of integrating with media and social publishers (Twitch Tv & Facebook).
Claiming the first ever William Hill ‘WHLabs Accelerator Programme’, BetGame beat stern competition from finalists Asylum Labs (creators of the Wild Party Bingo app), Streetlike (IoT rewards through digital signage), Skillzzgaming (combining gambling games with skill) and Winkapp (creating URLs that bridge offline and online media).
William Hill judges would earmark Skillzzgaming with a ‘Highly Commended’ award for their work integrating skill-based mobile games with the thrill of luck and gambling.
Commenting on the event and the calibre of start-ups, Crispin Nieboer, Interim MD of William Hill Online, said:
“The programme has been very rewarding and provided a great opportunity to work with engaged, enthusiastic and innovative start-ups. With such initiatives we really wanted to actively seek out innovation and help bring those ideas to commercial fruition, rather than waiting for this technology to appear a few years down the line. BetGame is a worthy winner of our first accelerator programme, providing a unique opportunity to disrupt the booming eSports market, and we are looking forward to working together.”
A pleased Doug Ward Co-Founder BetGame commented on the programme: “Our product is looking to heighten gaming’s competitive element but with a fun and simple way to prove yourself against your friends. It was fantastic that the William Hill team fully embraced this vision and helped develop our ideas over the course of the accelerator programme. During this time the quality of support from our mentors has been outstanding, enabling us to speed up our product development significantly so that we are now in a position for a full commercial roll out of our platform.”
Stuart Marks, CEO of LMarks and key innovation advisor to WHLabs program, backed William Hill’s corporate stance on innovation for the betting industry:
“Every company likes to talk about innovation, but very few have taken the necessary steps to put it at the core of their business like William Hill. We can really see that this accelerator programme has had massive benefits for William Hill and all of the finalists. It has demonstrated just how much start-ups and corporates can learn from each other when they collaborate and share knowledge in this way accelerator programme. During this time the quality of support from our mentors has been outstanding, enabling us to speed up our product development significantly so that we are now in a position for a full commercial roll out of our platform.”