I was lucky enough to be asked to write a short piece for Upswing, a newsletter championing women in digital sport, but this interview didn’t make it into the final piece. I felt there was a lot of value in Arwina’s experiences so I decided to post the piece here.
You can sign up for the final piece and Upswing Here:
One of the hot topics across digital sport right now is Data; specifically Fan Data.
To put it lightly, Data has led to drastic changes in sport, the least of which the way athletes train. For years data has brought continued innovation across sports with athletic records continuously broken. In the last year, we have seen the marathon ran by Eliud Kipchoge in under 2 hours and the implementation of VAR technology across the majority of top-flight football in Europe.
And yet I think we are on the cusp of a true renaissance in sports brought on by Fan Data. It’s no secret that COVID19 has left teams and organisations with an even tougher time to connect to their fans furthering my belief now is the time when organisations value and make use of this data.
These trends further my belief now is the time organisations are empowered to understand and connect with their fans in a uniquely authentic way.
One organisation working with teams and organisations to bring that relationship with fans to fruition is beam.gg Make no mistake beam.gg is, of course, founded by a female co-founder and operated by CEO Arwina Mogul. Beam.GG is based in Toronto, Canada where they help brands manage, grow and monetise communities leveraging fan data to do so.
I first spoke to Arwina last year when she was fundraising for Beam.GG. At the time Beam.GG was an eSports event discovery platform but recently pivoted to what Beam.GG is today. I was lucky enough to learn a bit more about Arwina and understand how she came to be making noise in 3 industries traditionally seen as male-dominated(Sports, eSports and Technology) and advice she would pass on to other women working in digital sport.
Question: Tell us about yourself — how did you get involved in digital and sport?
Answer: I grew up in Hong Kong in the 2000s and that’s where I started my journey in technology. Malls, train stations, and public places had computers embedded in the walls. I had a computer at home too and that sparked my interest in computer and programming. Growing up, I was also professionally trained to play tennis, I got into tennis because my Dad was an avid player. Moving onto esports, my love for gaming has always been there, I think having an interest in computers will naturally gravitate you towards gaming. Esports has been a part of my life since 2011 and I haven’t looked back! My favourite game is Dota 2 and it’s the highest paying esports prize pools in the world.
Question: What is your advice for women working in digital sport looking to progress or refocus their careers? What were the things that helped you to take that leap and start your own business? Any specific tips, etc.?
Answer: This will sound cliche but just do it and carefully choose who you can take advice from. Take advice from people you look up to, not your family, friends or people in your network but specifically people you look up to because they already have a playbook and you can get some really great tips from them. Your first product or service will not be perfect, don’t waste time trying to perfect it, just get it out there and get feedback from people. I believe most people fail because they will face the incredible emotional rollercoaster of securing deals and getting rejection daily. I like this P.Diddy quote about setting goals, staying quiet about them and clapping for your own self when you win. The key is focus, discipline and constant preparation.
Question: Are you a member of any groups or organisations that you feel are beneficial to your career? Tell us about them?
Answer: Yes, I was a part of the Startup and Slay cohort by How She Hustles and our company is a part of DMZ Ventures. How She Hustles is an organization, a movement and a change-making company in one, they uplift women entrepreneurs, I’ve met some incredible and inspiring women in the cohort. DMZ Ventures is a top accelerator program focused on market-changing ideas and high-trajectory startups, the team is incredible, experienced and super smart. I’m very lucky to be a part of it.
Question: A blessing in disguise was…We often see people talking/writing about their successes but we all know there were many missteps and perceived failures that led to them. Looking back, can you think of one or a few challenges, maybe you considered them failures at that time, that helped you in your career? Those that taught you an important lesson. What was it? What did you or didn’t do? What did you learn/gain
Answer: I truly believe that when things don’t work out, it’s because it wasn’t meant for you to have or to experience. I’ve started to gain this mindset after many challenges and failures I’ve experienced, I won’t talk about them in specifics but as a visible minority, immigrant woman in three predominantly male industries: technology, business and esports (competitive video games), you will experience sexism, racism, discrimination and unfair outcomes. It’s a blessing in disguise because I wouldn’t want to work with people who are like that anyway, so it becomes a great filter for people you want to partner with or work with.
Arwina’s response reminds me why work for equality and equal opportunity is so important and will be a continuous process. We can’t change the past but we can strive to leave it better than we found it. If you want to get in contact with Arwina further don’t hesitate to reach out via Linkedin or through Beam.GG
Thanks for reading! If I can support your startup in any way just give me a shout!