Y Combinator Demo Day 2019: Sports and Gaming Start-ups Round Up

Chris Knight
3 min readApr 2, 2019
Y Combinator Demo Day 2019

Y combinator saw its largest ever accelerator class reach demo day last week and with it almost 200 startups presented across 2 days. Of the startups, 5 fall under SportsTech which you can read about below. It is exciting to see Y Combinator does not have Sports or Gaming as a standalone category; but I think this just speaks to how recently the VC and Sports came together, not of the lack of opportunities for innovation.

https://playbalto.com/ Balto is an entrant to the social betting space with a focus on wagers and competitions around large scale tournaments and events. The prime use case is also their MPV; the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA tournament is part of March Madness, a month where millions of office workers, classmates, and friends come together to create a lottery pools where the entrant with the most correct NCAA bracket at the end of the tournament wins. The event is a bit of a national past-time and Warren Buffet even puts up $1 Million to anyone in his companies that gets a perfect bracket.

For now Balto is offering prizes for free entries to their site wide contest and is also allowing users to create and join private pools. It isn’t yet clear if they intend to run paid pools in the future or stick to large scale free entry tournaments with the prize pool coming from sponsors or elsewhere.

www.kalshi.com is another betting app letting users place wagers on anything from sports to entertainment to politics. Instead of traditionally betting versus a bookie the bets are pooled where the winners prize is their allocated share of the loser’s placed wagers.

Put simply if you placed $100 on the bet “Will England leave the EU by April 12th?” and there was $1000 on Yes (including yours) and $5000 on No your maximum winnings are 10% of the prize pool ($500) plus your stake back for a total of $600 back and a $500 profit.

Kalshi.com betting

www.rune.ai Rune connect mobile gamers on voice chat and finds them team-mates to hang out game and share experiences together. Voice chatting is a huge part of PC and platform gaming so I think the need for voice chatting and team making in mobile gaming will be just as necessary.

www.vectordash.com The Mac and PC war wages on but in gaming the PC has always held the upper hand. Vectordash is a cloud based PC game launcher that turns any Mac into a powerful gaming PC. Vectordash is in beta access now and what is really exciting is their launch will feature a games library of top hits including Apex Legends, Fortnite, CSGO and more.

Vectordash with its subscription model seems to be another startup that could become the Netflix of gaming. Vectordash have been able to build a high performance “gaming cloud” and business model around paying for the rights to use PC users GPU and then charging Mac users for access to the virtual PC.

Hopefully you found this review interesting ! Please reach out if you want to discuss any of the projects further or had any other feedback