At ZEAL Investments (ZI) part of what we do is act as a window to the tech and startup world for ZEAL Network. We see it as part of our mission to help connect the mothership into this dynamic, fast-paced environment.
We were very excited when two of our ZEAL colleagues, Matt and Fabian, came forward with an idea for an internal startup. They have been inspired by ZI’s investment into the Free Postcode Lottery (FPL) and our partnership with MassChallenge.
How were they inspired?
As demonstrated by the great development of FPL to date, there is big merit in non-licensed prize models. We like to analyse startups with our “tripod framework”. Almost everywhere in the world, gambling is defined by the co-existence of three main legs: pay to play, chance, and a prize. By removing one of the legs, the licensing requirement often goes away and immediately puts the company in the highly advantageous position of being able to move faster and more easily operate internationally. Take FPL as an example – they have shaken things up by removing the “pay to play” leg. Instead of the player funding the prize pot and operations, FPL is an ad-funded business where money comes from advertising partners.
Matt learned all about FPL since he works in a group legal team and helped us on the deal. In this context, he learned a lot about our “tripod framework” and how it can be used to design non-licenced prize games.
Fabian, a Business Development Manager, has a genuine interest in the world of startups and did not miss a single MassChallenge event (e.g. our ZEAL Demo Day, the Angels Den angel investor event at ZEAL’s office and the MassChallenge Awards Ceremony).
Inspired by their experiences the two joined up and came forward with a cool idea.
What’s next and how will ZI support?
Matt and Fabian’s enticing pitch secured them buy in and budget from ZI. Together with ZI, they jumped on the chance to set this up as a pilot for internal acceleration.
Matt and Fabian are now in a three months “acceleration” phase to work on their product and refine their business model. At the end, they will present their progress to a wide ZEAL audience, including the Supervisory Board, Executive Board and ZI. They will be judged against exactly the same criteria that we use when evaluating external startups – if they succeed they will win further funding, if not…well it is back to the day jobs guys!
We are very excited to be alongside Matt and Fabian on this journey and cannot wait to hear them pitch! If you have recently launched your own startup, using the power of the “tripod framework” to come up with new prize games, we would love to hear from you.