Written with Hung Pham. Hung is a CFA Level I candidate with a passion for third wave coffee, startups, and gaming.
Esports breaks many barriers of entry which often prevent kids around the world from participating and enjoying traditional sports. As an Asian immigrant child growing up as a minority in the outskirts of a small town in the middle of Europe, the ability to play and compete with almost everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and location, was an empowering experience.
Even though the odds of the underdog are higher and the pool open to more people in esports, it’s far from perfect. In recent years, esports has seen major growth and some of the largest prize pools in its history. But players who put in years of excruciating practice often have to wait upwards of 6 months to receive their hard-earned prize money.
As Sheryl Sandberg said, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.”
This is why I was excited about Prize Payments the moment they announced the product. I reached out to Spike Laurie, our Head of Business Development, immediately after reading through the PR release, and was lucky enough to schedule a call with him at the end of the same week. Upon talking to Han Park, our CEO, and the rest of the team, I felt ecstatic.
We live in a world that is waking up to the importance of data security, compliance, and the rising costs of indifference to these issues. I could not pass up on the opportunity to work on solving a problem that is 1) stifling the growth of my lifelong hobby and 2) provides deep insights into parallel issues across other verticals.
Growth and Mentorship
It took me weeks to wrap my head around the problem we’re solving, how our business model works, and who we are in two rapidly growing industries (esports and fintech). In my time as an intern, I had the chance to become deeply ingrained in the company’s operations. I had access to sit in on most calls – sales/business development, legal and compliance, product development, and more – which gave me a newfound appreciation for the various tools we use to make sure our remote team works well together. We conduct quarterly in-person workshops in Santa Monica, where everyone is encouraged to speak up—forget your role—a culture I wish existed in more startups and businesses.
I had the chance to contribute to Prize Payments since day one. I started off by creating a variety of sales and business development materials. As in any other early-stage startup, everyone on our team has to be versatile. From onboarding new clients to supporting our compliance team, I gained key insights that helped me create standard operating procedures for the entire team.
Recently, I went deep into our new product (still in stealth) and built our pricing, financial, and revenue models. With help from across the team, I’m confident in the coming rollout of the product – and the iterations we’re going to make.
Everyone on the team has been tremendously supportive and while interns usually get one mentor, I’ve been mentored by the entire team. Special thanks to Mark Cheben and Spike Laurie, who have always gone out of their way to provide guidance.
Starting My Career with Prize Payments
I was confident in taking on challenging tasks and felt supported in co-leading certain parts of our business. This wouldn’t be possible without a team-wide commitment to extreme candor.
As my internship ended in May, I knew that growth and learning opportunities would be my main priorities along with company culture and the organization’s mission. Working here has inspired me to hold myself to higher standards and push myself a little further every day – a key quality I will be holding onto for as long as I can!
We’re obsessed with esports, influencers, and streamlining payment processes. Making sure that hard-working people in the entertainment industry are paid on time and compliantly—no matter where they live—is only one part of our mission. We also deeply care about how else we can contribute to the ecosystem and support the growth of esports.
We’re only getting started, so we’re always on the lookout for talented people to help us achieve our mission. If my experience at Prize Payments resonates with you, I’d love for you to join us so we can grow together.
Interested in working with Prize Payments?
Reach out to talk to us about how we can work together.