Application process opens for ESI London’s inaugural ‘The Clutch’

The Clutch at ESI London is a brand new feature providing the opportunity for 10 esports companies to pitch to a panel of esteemed investors. The premise for The Clutch is simple: Esports Insider aims to connect esports-focused companies with vast potential to those that can provide funding, mentorship, business strategy, and connections to help them take things to the next level.

As part of ESI London – the ultimate industry showcase – the aim of The Clutch is to help continue to grow and professionalise the wider industry.

Apply to The Clutch here

For more information about applying or sponsorship The Clutch, please email [email protected]

How does it work?

  • 10 companies chosen to present to the panel of investors
  • Each company will have four minutes to pitch before the microphone is cut off
  • The microphones will be raised again for six minutes in which the panel will ask questions to each individual
  • The panel will have a scoring sheet, and will ultimately decide the winner of the inaugural ‘The Clutch’ trophy – and who knows – potentially spur investment conversations later down the line

Why should you apply?

  • Our panel is packed with industry expertise, each company will have the opportunity to meet the investors for private mentorship and feedback at the event
  • Although we won’t be demanding cheques are written on the day, if a company impresses enough then there may be investment offers forthcoming
  • ESI London is set to welcome 500+ delegates across the two days at Twickenham. By being a part of The Clutch, a company gains the chance to showcase its product to the wider industry
  • Ultimately, The Clutch is set to be a fantastic content piece. There’ll be plenty of media at our event in Twickenham, so there’s a chance to gain exposure in the press
  • Each company that makes the final 10 will receive 2 x free tickets to ESI London worth £1,000
  • Each company will also receive a table-top stand in the zone dedicated to The Clutch at ESI London

Find out more about ESI London

The application process

Stage 1: Please complete the application form here. All applications will be reviewed by the ESI team with assistance from the investment panel, before a 10-company shortlist is created.

The initial application must be submitted by Friday 26th July.

Stage 2: Successful applicants will be notified by Friday, August 9th. Those who are invited to pitch will be encouraged to create a video for pre-event promotion and will have the opportunity to feature pre-event editorial on the ESI portal.

Stage 3: Those chosen will receive 2 x tickets to ESI London, and a table-top space in ‘The Clutch’ zone at the event – as well as the opportunity to meet our esteemed panel of investors.

Stage 4: On the day, our panel of investors will decide on the best pitch and crown the inaugural winner of The Clutch.

Meet the judges

Amit Jain, Esports Investor, Rewired.GG 

Spike Laurie, Venture Director, Hiro Capital

Malte Barth, Founding Partner, BITKRFT

We caught up with Amit Jain of – the esports venture fund that invested €20m into Paris-based Team Vitality in November 2018. We discussed why he’s getting involved in ESI London and The Clutch as well as gathered his thoughts about the current esports investment landscape. 

ESI: Why did you decide to get involved in ESI London and The Clutch?

Amit Jain: ESI London brings together all of the leading lights of esports in one place. There is a lot of noise in the esports sector right now, and ESI helps me to focus and tune in to the things that I need to be hearing about. There is a huge amount of young talent in the esports sector and some big ambitions, and ESI London also gives me the opportunity to meet and create connections. Even if we don’t back a venture right now, I am always eager to follow the progress of entrepreneurs that we might seek to back later on.

We decided to get involved with The Clutch because I think it is important that esports founders and entrepreneurs have a good understanding of what investors are looking for and how to present. We are huge advocates of the ability of younger people to create and invent and innovate and ultimately to grow amazing businesses, and esports is full of young entrepreneurs. The Clutch I hope will give some of the entrepreneurs in the audience a good sense of how to turn their ambition into reality.

ESI: What do you think of the current investment landscape in the esports space?

Amit Jain: There is a lot of hype in the esports space at the moment and it is important to stay grounded in reality and to focus on some of the business fundamentals. Our €50m Rewired.GG esports venture fund probably receives a new pitch deck every day from esports ventures seeking investment. That is an excellent indicator to the strength of entrepreneurial spirit that is making esports such an exciting place right now. But small ventures that are less than one year old who value themselves at 30 times revenue just because they are in the esports space – they have usually got a bit lost in the hype.

Our investment focus is to back growth-stage esports ventures that can deliver exponential growth, and fortunately for us, there are some excellent esports founders and ventures out there to back. Typically they have super-smart founders that have proven themselves and their business model, and who simply need to compound their achievements into accelerated future growth. I think that as esports becomes mainstream, investors like Rewired.GG will be essential, because in addition to substantial funding, we add the intellectual capital about how to scale up to become a global company or brand.