As you have seen in my LinkedIn and Twitter account, I leave Foreseen Media, my latest proyect as an entrepreneur. I would like to share with you my experience, how it has been, everything I’ve learned, what I would (and wouldn’t) do again, and why I decided to stop and rest for a while.
First of all, the tutorial
This adventure started in 2015, when, with two colleagues from the university, we decided to try our luck in the esports industry creating an amateur team to see how everything worked in this sector and who could be our competitors. I already knew something about esports thanks to a friend who competes in Pokémon, and I helped him to find a better team, because, in terms of results, he could have more visibility. I made him sign with Gamers2, now rebranded to G2 Esports, a world top club that competes in many games with winner teams and players. That was when I first interested in this industry. This was also thanks to Brian Vázquez, who would be one of my partners in two of my next companies.
The third partner in ALBRIAL SC, as our first company was named, was Álvaro Luzón, another gamer colleague from university who was very interested in esports as his cousin had competed in Call of Duty when everything was starting. There we were the three of us, they were 21 years old, and I was 19, looking for starting our proyect. Thanks to the Community of Madrid helps, they adviced us on how to start, and we thought that the best option was to create a “Civil Society” (it does not exist anymore), and, later on, we would create the Limited Society. Another partner joined us, because, as a lack of resources, we offered him a part of the percentage of our company to help us with graphic design, section that, for us, was really important as we wanted to be strong with our image and our contents. But things were not as expected with this new partner and we had to go on without him.
With the club, which we called Unity Gaming, we had good players and we got good results in the amateur scene, we had even won some professional teams with more budget in some qualifiers to important tournaments by then. But we were not able to get any sponsors, we had had some meetings with a big company, that seemed interested in esports, but, of course, it wasn’t their priority to enter in this industry, so it took more time than we expected.
Six months later, more or less, we wanted to step up with a more professional club. But we needed help, we did not have nor the resources neither the necessary profiles to go ahead, so we looked for more partners. We found them in lately 2015, and, in December, we bought an existing club, with good results, and we closed ALBRIAL SC to start a new proyect with three more partners. We bought Celerius eSports, and we went to our first face-to-face event: Gamergy December 2015. It was a great experience, and it allowed us to live esports from a more professional point of view. Less than a year as an entrepreneur, and now the real game was about to start.
The real game starts
In January 2016, we were already a Limited Society, and six partners with more or less experience in the sector, but everyone of us were very awared of the work we had to do and what we wanted to do and achieve. It was clear, we wanted to create a community inside the esports industry through contents and a strong brand image which attracted the public for being funny and close to everyone. Knowing that, we rebranded the club from Celerius eSports to eMonkeyz Club. It all started well, both in esports results and in the acceptance of the community of the new brand in social media.
But again the same problem, the market was still too immature and we weren’t able to attract big companies to sponsor us or invest in our proyect. Also, a few big companies started to invest in esports, but creating their own teams, and this made it even more difficult as we had to compete with huge budgets.
I was the youngest partner in the company, and I was still studying, so I had no income, and the club needed a lot of investment, so the situation became untenable to me, and after one year and some months, in March 2017 I left eMonkeyz, with Álvaro Luzón. It was a really difficult situation for me, as I got an internship in Vodafone, but everything that I earned I had to reinvest it in the club, and the sponsors we got only gave us products or little money, so that wasn’t a solution. Also, the prizes we won were almost everything for the players. I didn’t see in a near future that the situation could change, so I decided to leave eMonkeyz.
That time in eMonkeyz let us understand how the sector really worked, leaving aside the amateur scene, and watching how it was growing and who contributed more, and, the most important thing, why big brands weren’t entering in the industry sponsoring teams/competitions, and what they were really looking for. We saw that there was a necessity for brands of an agent that explained them what this was about, how brands could contribute to make it grow and how they could reach their public. Álvaro found two more partners and we started Foreseen Media, a marketing agency specialized in esports.
2btube, a leading YouTube network in the Spanish speaking market, was quickly interested in our proyect, and we started to work in their offices getting a great pace of work. Oh, I forgot, this time there was also another partner that spent some months with us, but it didn’t work again so we had to go on without him. Everything seemed to be really good, we had had some meetings with some of the biggest consumer companies and non endemic ones, and they were all very happy with us and with what we offered them. Actually, in less than a year, we had already worked with LG Spain and Telepizza. But, again, we couldn’t get an economic stability that allowed me to improve my personal situation, so it started to get worse again and I started to lose my motivation.
Also, there were other external factors that, approximately during one month and a half, made me move away a bit from the day to day of the company. When I came back, I couldn’t regain my motivation, and I was slowly realizing that the best for me was to leave the company and rest for a while. After two weeks of holidays, everything that I had disconnected didn’t last for too much, as when I came back to routine, I again realized that the best for me was to leave the proyect. September 2018 was my last month in Foreseen Media, and, for now my adventure as an entrepreneur is finished.
Mistakes and tips
As everyone knows, being an entrepreneur is not easy, but it is the best decision I could have taken. My mother always told me to study more, she told me to look for a master or some studies after my degree, but, with no doubts, the master has been these three years creating companies and proyects and understanding how things really work. Also, I was lucky that I could have my internship at Vodafone, a leading company in its sector, so I could also see that part of the professional world.
Mistakes make you learn, and I’m going to tell you those ones I think I made and some tips I can give you from my point of view.
1st. The lack of economic resources made us, twice, offer a part of our company’s percentage because we couldn’t pay a salary for the services we needed. This can go well or wrong, but, if you are going to have a partner in your proyects, you better know him/her well, because if not, you may lose time and resources in order to fix that problem that you first saw as a solution.
2nd. Very close to the first thing, the fewer partners, the better. It is really complicated to know what to do in your business, but if you have to agree with up to five people, as it has been my case, imagine how annoying it can be sometimes. Obviously I didn’t have a choice, but it is something that I would never do again, being more than three partners can be annoying and can slow down some processes sometimes.
3rd. For me, it has been decisive not having some money saved or available to keep in those proyects. I focused a 100% in my proyects, and, as results didn’t come, I ended up frustrated because I couldn’t go on. If I had had some money saved, so I could have had a “normal life”, I would have been able to go on in eMonkeyz or Foreseen Media.
Now I will spend some time resting so I can come back motivated. I will keep learning new things, and travelling some more to know more countries and new cultures. I know I will end up creating again other proyects in the future, because it is what I really like, but I need some conditions to be filled first. It won’t be easy, because being an entrepreneur never is, but I’m sure I won’t make the same mistakes again.
This can be a summary about my experience of being an entrepreneur since I was 19. Tell me about your thoughts, if you have also created your own companies, I would like to know about your experience, if you have had the same problems as I did, or if you have had different ones. Or if you are going to start your own adventure as an entrepreneur, and my post helped you, or if you have any doubts, let me know via LinkedIn or email!