Headquarters: Minneapolis // Founded: 2020 // Founders: Gavin Lee, founder and CEO; Tony Dincau, co-founder and chief technology and product officer
Gwoop’s mission is to help esports athletes train and prepare for competitions. The company offers a range of browser-based training programs that help players improve reaction time, mouse control, problem-solving, and more. The programs are available for free, though there are a few premium add-ons for a cost. Gwoop also pulls in revenue from advertising and sponsorships. Most of its users are 13- to 18-year-old esports players, who can train individually or as part of a team. Today, the company counts more than 1,000 schools among its user base. Lee says their platform stands out from competitors by being “genre agnostic,” designed to improve esports skills across several gaming types, such as first-person shooter or strategy. The company is also in the early stages of a new feature that uses machine learning to suggest new games for players based on their skill levels. Once a niche industry, esports has exploded within recent years; even Vikings ownership has an esports organization. “Gamers need ways to practice, just like traditional athletes,” Lee says.
THE NAME:  No, it’s not a nod to Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop; back in 2001, following Google’s rise to prominence, Lee says he bought a series of five-letter domain names.
Funds raised to date: $1.85 million
More startup news at tcbmag.com/startmn
Dan Niepow is TCB's digital editor.
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