HEAD KRAKEN Startup (a platform for eSports data collection and analysis) is among the semi-finalists of Startup Village Livestream’20. On the eve of a major technological event, we talked with the startup founders, professors of the Center for Computational and Data-Intensive Science and Engineering (CDISE) Andrei Somov and Evgeny Burnaev.
What are your thoughts and aspirations with regard to SUV 2020? Why do you participate in it? What is the value of SUV site for you?
SUV is a significant event in the world of startups, in which a huge number of experts from various fields take part. HEAD KRAKEN has two ambitious goals – to show our startup to a wide circle of experts and try to win the competition, and the second goal is to draw attention to our enterprise and attract investments. Despite the online format of the competition, we have already managed to get a useful and necessary feedback, get acquainted with the experts and appreciate the value of the SUV site for our business development.
What is the main value of your project?
The value of the project lies in the collection and analysis of the full range of e-sports data – physiological, psychological, in-game, contextual. Our product is characterized by the number of services offered and is suitable for different categories of players: amateurs who play for pleasure and who are interested in getting professional advice and sharing their “performance” in the gaming community; semi-professionals who want to improve their results and get into the Pro cohort; and, naturally, professional e-sportsmen who play for the result and, therefore, must pay attention to every detail in preparation.
How was HeadKraken startup born?
HEAD KRAKEN was founded in June 2019 by us, Skoltech professors. However, it all started a little earlier, in 2018, with the STRIP entrepreneurship translation program in Skoltech. This program facilitates commercialization of research and technology transfer to create a commercial product and a startup resident of the Skolkovo IC. Around the same time, an e-sports academy appeared on the territory of Skolkovo, which confirms that e-sports is a hot topic.
Thus, we combined our experience in data collection and analysis, finding an excellent innovative technological idea for a dynamically developing industry and the e-sports market.
Who do you consider your competitors in the market? And what are your competitive advantages?
Recently, several companies have appeared in the e-sports market that offer data analytics solutions. But all the proposed solutions are aimed, as a rule, at the analysis of in-game data. We believe that our project has several competitive advantages. Firstly, the very idea of collecting a full range of eSports data and analyzing it using Artificial Intelligence is not used by the competing companies in the eSports Training and Analytics sector. Secondly, the idea is supported by solid scientific background in the field of fundamental and applied research, as well as a unique constantly updated dataset. Thirdly, we have a small but experienced team – both in terms of key technology (all team members have academic degrees) and in terms of qualifications in the field of technological and business development.
Did COVID-19 and the pandemic affect the development of your project?
I would not say so. We continue to work remotely and successfully develop our project. Quarantine, perhaps, even helped to focus on preparing for the competition.
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
Our immediate goals are to launch test sales in mid-summer. In the long term, we see the development of a line of e-sports products which would improve the results of e-sportsmen and increase the entertaining component during broadcasts. We see the relevance of our product in several segments of the e-sports market. In accordance with our investment strategy, we plan to attract the first investments to implement our development plans by the end of this year, introducing the HEAD KRAKEN project in Russia and abroad.
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