In today's interview, we're pleased to welcome Devon Chulick, the dynamic COO of StartPlaying.Games, an innovative platform designed to empower professional game masters and facilitate gaming experiences. His journey is a testament to the power of passion and determination, and the results speak for themselves.
What inspired you to start this particular venture?
I was featured in Bloomberg Business Week while moonlighting as a professional game master. The overwhelming interest from people who wanted to do this as a job or part-time gig astounded me. However, it's challenging. You need to know how to create a website, do your own performance marketing, handle your accounting. It was hard for many people to get started doing the same thing. When I met my co-founder Nate Tucker, we immediately realized that we could solve this problem. We were inspired to build StartPlaying.Games to empower game masters to run games and earn a living wage. We also aimed to facilitate people's ability to form communities, find gaming groups, and experience play once again.
What milestones has your startup achieved since its inception?
We've raised a seed round from a16z, a prestigious VC. It is also impressive is that our game masters have earned over 13 million dollars running games on our platform. This feels like a significant milestone, especially considering that this isn't your typical gig job. Our game masters are creating joy and bringing people fun, which is immensely satisfying.
What is your long-term vision for the company?
Loneliness is a pervasive issue today. Alarmingly, a Harvard study found that 36% of Americans expressed experiencing loneliness. This disconnection and lack of community is heartbreaking. We aim to address this by building vibrant communities through our platform. Our game masters foster these micro-communities, and the impact is palpable, from officiating weddings to creating lasting relationships. The grand vision for StartPlaying.Games is to take part in helping eliminate loneliness and foster these communities through play. Ideally, we would like to support a million game masters, which means we could potentially create communities for 10 million players.
Devon's vision for StartPlaying.Games is nothing short of revolutionary. By blending the power of play with the potential of entrepreneurship, he and his team are tackling societal issues like loneliness and the gig economy's challenges. Stay tuned as we continue to monitor the progress of this ambitious venture.