Mouseskins, an independent peripherals brand which offers a tailored service to players seeking to define their mice, has won the most recent edition of Esports Insider’s pitch investment competition The Clutch.
Wrapping up the final day of ESI London 2022, the world’s esports industry festival, Mouseskins’ win sees it take home the $15,000 first place prize alongside mentoring opportunities from Overwolf and Barclays.
The Clutch, this year in partnership with Overwolf, Barclays, Wembley Park and Bird & Bird, has become a focal point of ESI Events with ESI London hosting the seventh iteration this year.
During The Clutch, four startups pitched to an esteemed panel of judges and investors in front of 600+ attendees at the BOXPARK Wembley event.
Judges for the competition included sought-after figures in and around the investment and esports field featuring Kesem Fine, Business Development Manager at Overwolf, Spike Laurie, Venture Director at Hiro Capital, Vincent Vercelli, Head of Incubation at Level 256, Lisa Hau, COO of Bidstack, and Dave Martin, Director of Esports Global.
Following each business’ pitch, the judges came together to decide who to reward with a share of the $25,000 prize pool.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place companies received $15,000 (~£13,000), $7,000 (~£6,000) and $3,000 (~£2,600) respectively, courtesy of Overwolf, an all-in-one platform that enables creators to build, distribute, and monetise in-game apps and mods.
The winning company is also granted the opportunity to travel to Tel Aviv, where Overwolf is headquartered, for a week of personalised in-person mentoring and product acceleration.
The winner additionally receives up to one year’s access to Barclays Eagle Labs Membership, with location and benefits dependent on availability at the time. The Barclays Eagle Labs is a community of top innovators and entrepreneurs, with access to dedicated growth programmes, 1-2-1 mentoring, events and online learning designed to aid start-ups to scale.
Kesem Fine, Business Development Manager at Overwolf, commented: “I’m really happy with how The Clutch turned out, all the finalists pitches were great, and it was not an easy decision for the judges. In the end, Steven from MouseSkins was our pick for this year’s winner, and it’s very well deserved.
“Steven has been hard at work for years bootstrapping MouseSkins. His grit, enthusiasm, and get it done attitude can definitely be felt. I’m looking forward to working together in person for our week-long acceleration in Tel Aviv!”
This year’s competition
First on the main stage to present his company was Rafał Łabędzki, Co-founder of Challenger Project, who talked about the company’s mission to enable players to join semi-professional and professional esports via Challenger Project’s web and mobile applications.
Next to take the mic was Steven McKerrow, Founder of Mouseskins. McKerrow delved into the company’s customisable & innovative skins for gaming mice, which are designed for performance and aesthetics, and their to-date partnerships and collaborations with Alpine, ASUS and Brock Hofer.
Moving on, Saša Vrcelj, Co-founder of ProTest Labs, first chose to address the lack of tools for scientific research to collect data and measure pro player’s skills. His solution is ProTest Labs, where they’re combining neuroscience, AI and gaming to identify the true strengths and weaknesses of a player.
Last to present was Mike Taylor, Founder at Versus Gaming, a platform that allows users to create teams, compete in tournaments and track their performance. The purpose of the platform is to act as a source of information for game developers to better understand player behaviour or scout talent.
At the end of ESI London, returning for the closing remarks, Esports Insider Managing Director Sam Cooke asked the judges back on the stage to announce the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Mouseskins was crowned the winner, followed by ProTest Labs and then Challenger Project respectively.
Sam Cooke, Managing Director and Co-founder of Esports Insider, said: “This year’s competition was, as usual, incredibly tight. All four companies’ pitches were well-considered and convincing, and I’ve no doubt they will all go on to make waves in the industry. I extend a huge congratulations to Mouseskins, and look forward to seeing how they make use of their prize money and incubation help from Overwolf and Barclays.”
Esports Insider has announced that The Clutch will return in 2023.