FSBDC at UCF Helps eSport Gaming Arena and Academy Be First into Orlando Market
December 9, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jairo Batista, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or Jairo.Batista@ucf.edu
Orlando, FL – Being the first into a market can present risks for an entrepreneur, but it can also be a huge opportunity that offers significant competitive advantages. Those risks can be managed, however, if you are bringing in a business that has proven successful across the U.S. and the world. The major challenge is speed: can you set up and open your business before anyone else beats you to the punch? That’s the challenge that Felipe Barreto faced when he turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance.
Barreto’s vision was to be the first to bring an eSport videogaming arena and teaching academy to Orlando. Playing videogames and participating in eSports tournaments is a major entertainment option worldwide, but there are limits to how much fun can be had playing at home. Having a social presence along with interactivity brings another range of intensity, emotions and competitiveness to gamers.
Add to that an academy where participants – from novices to experts – can receive coaching and training to improve their game, and even become professionals. Teams and tournaments, supported by major sponsors, awarded over $45 million in prizes in 2018 alone to professional gamers. This is a big business and it’s growing.
And so Barreto invented his new business, Digital Battlegrounds. He’d done extensive industry research, engaged in detailed business planning and attracted investors and the necessary capital. Now it was time to open his center and he came to the FSBDC for help.
“I knew that I needed local expertise,” Barreto recalls, “about how to set up a business, how to lease a space, how to hire people. It was clear to me that if I did it on my own, I would waste time, money and wouldn’t do it as well as I would if I had help.”
At the FSBDC, he worked with consultant Lisa Reineck who assembled a team of colleagues with specialized expertise in HR, marketing and business set up, including Jessica Ali, Chuck Wheeler and Jairo Batista. Together they assisted the client with finding a location; reviewing the lease; store design and layout; obtaining permits, licenses and inspections; establishing a hiring plan; and multiple marketing planning issues.
“Everything I asked for, there was someone there who knows about it, or they could refer me to someone who did,” says Barreto. “Working with the FSBDC was very easy, very fast, very effective, and the input I received was very hands on and practical. They were my ‘go to’; when I had a question or needed help, I’d go to them and they were always there for me. It has been great.”
Barreto achieved his goal: his is the first and only eSports arena and academy in Orlando. In less than three months, he had secured a lease, completed his buildout, installed equipment, and opened the doors for Digital Battlegrounds. And the company is living up to its motto: “Play. Learn. Win.” Gamers are gaming, receiving training at the academy and competing in tournaments, all with specially designed and supercharged gaming equipment, including 32 PC stations, 8 PlayStations and an MC booth for events.
For information about Digital Battlegrounds, please visit https://www.digitalbattlegrounds.gg/.
— FSBDC —
About the FSBDC at UCF
Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation and the Florida SBDC Network.
The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2018, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,500 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 6,500 jobs created, retained or saved; $749 million in sales growth; $36.1 million in capital formation; $178.3 million in government contract awards; and 277 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com.
About the Florida SBDC Network
For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.
In 2018, Florida SBDCs have provided professional business consulting to 11,500 client businesses, resulting in more than 38,400 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $520 million in government contracts acquired; $201.8 million in capital accessed; and 665 new businesses started.
A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.