One of IE University’s most valued pillars of education is entrepreneurship. Students are encouraged to develop and pursue their startup ideas throughout and long after their educational journey.
Alejandro Sáez Novales, graduate of the Dual Degree in Bachelor in Business Administration + Laws, took full advantage of this, and now runs a successful eSports startup.
We had the chance to speak with Alejandro about his entrepreneurial path. Here’s what he had to say!
Where are you from? Why did you choose to study at IE University and what did you study?
I’m from Madrid and have always lived here. I studied at a school called San Patricio and went abroad for a year to Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire when I was 15. I decided to choose IE University because I knew it was a perfect match for my future ambitions and my personality as an entrepreneur.
I think IE University prepares you excellently to become a leader in your future professional life. They continuously make you pitch ideas in class and work together with your classmates. People don’t realize how valuable that is in terms of personal skills.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Yes, I have always wanted to work for myself. I actually started my first venture when I was in my second year at IE University: I launched a franchise of a VIPS restaurant with a friend of mine in Madrid. We currently co-own it and it’s going pretty well. Later, when I came back from my visiting program, I knew I wanted to jump into a tech development company—and that was when the idea for eGoGames was born.
How did IE University help you develop your idea?
At IE University, they made me prepare a Business Plan and Pitch Deck for my final Business Administration thesis. At the same time, for my Law final thesis, I had to develop a full legal strategy. I focused both projects on eGoGames, which really helped me to fully develop the final strategy with the help of my IE University advisors. Thanks to all this preparation, when I graduated at the end of June 2019, I was able to raise a first round of €3K with a post-money valuation of €3 million at the end of July to start making this dream a reality.
How did you come up with the idea of eGoGames and how did you develop it?
eGoGames is the leading mobile eSports platform in Europe, and it consists of a SaaS that transforms all your favorite mobile skill-based offline games (Tetris, Candy Crush, Solitaire…) into real-time eSports where players can compete to win real money prizes. We’ve raised more than €3 million in VC to build an infrastructure that ranges from a tournament management system to display technologies and broadcasting tools. At the moment, we are hosting 100,000+ tournaments every day, our leagues give away over €100,000 every month in prizes. Our players have won more than €1 million in prizes with our competitive arena.
In a world with more than 2.7 billion mobile gamers, we are available worldwide in the Samsung, Galaxy and Apple Stores. We are creating a whole new industry, empowering mobile to take a leading role in the eSports industry. We want to make the industry accessible to everyone, providing competitions for simple games that anyone can play, at any time.
How did you find out about the South Summit competition? How important was it for you to be a finalist in this incredible competition?
Our current CIO, David García, is a big supporter of South Summit, and he was the one that told us about it. We’re so grateful and proud to have received recognition from such an important competition, following the path of great Spanish companies like Glovo or Cabify who were also finalists in previous editions. It was a great experience for us to pitch eGoGames. We received questions from very bright minds, and it was a pleasure to show off all the work we’ve been doing these past few years to make our company a leader in the mobile eSports industry.
What advice would you give current student-entrepreneurs? Would you recommend IE University for the development of their startups?
For sure! It’s the best way to reach your full potential as an entrepreneur. It also helps you improve your people skills, which I insist is key for an entrepreneur or founder when it comes to growing the business, hiring new workers, building a great atmosphere, and guaranteeing an efficient value chain.