November 1, 2021

HI Hub Incubator Program Finalist Ranel Castro Tells Us about His Startup, Swagger Gaming, Inc.

Swagger is a new sports prediction platform that empowers sports fans of all skill levels to predict live sports outcomes with confidence based simply on their love of sports.

Swagger Gaming, Inc. is one of the finalists in the HI Hub Incubator Program. Ranel Castro, Co-founder and CMO of Swagger, tells us more about the business.

What product or service does Swagger offer?
Swagger offers a sports prediction platform with both free-to-play fan engagement and real-money games.

How did you come up with the idea for this business?
With my partners and I having over 50 years of combined experience in the gaming space, we recognized the need to provide avid sports fans who are casual or novice fantasy players/gamblers with a friendly, non-intimidating way to get into gaming. A former colleague developed the game with a points-based system that is simple for sports fans to play; it also makes it easier to win.

Why did you decide to participate in the HI Hub Incubator program?

As an SPS alum, I saw value in reengaging with the community, competing for some capital, honing our pitch and positioning, and gaining access to the mentors the program recruited.

What do you enjoy most about creating your own startup business?
I really enjoyed betting on myself...pun intended!

What advice would you give to someone contemplating founding a startup?
I would say two things:

  1. Have a great partner and a solid product with the potential to be great.
  2. Get comfortable not knowing what's around the corner; just be prepared to handle it no matter what it is. There's a saying that I'll paraphrase: "start walking and the road will reveal itself." You won't have all the answers at first, just start moving and as you do, more answers will become apparent in places they never were before.
What is something you learned through this process that you wish you’d known before you created your startup?
I would repeat what I said about being comfortable moving forward without all the answers. If I'd had known that, I would've started a business years ago!
What does the future of your startup look like in an ideal world?
I want Swagger to become the preeminent, sports prediction app for young and multicultural sports fans who aren't the ones pouring through data looking for an edge, but simply want the thrill of having some skin in the games they love.
Have you worked with any alumni or mentors on this project? If so, who and what was that experience like?
I only recently had my intro calls with two mentors (Ronen Stauber and Dan Wacksman) and have two more to go! So far, their insights and advice have been great. I'll know more in the weeks to come.

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