E1050: PlayVS CEO & Founder Delane Parnell shares his incredible journey from the projects to raising almost $100M to build the esports platform of the future, breaking through as an outsider in tech, using leverage & partnerships to create a moat, his top 5 entrepreneurs & more!

about this episode

PlayVS CEO & Founder Delane Parnell shares his incredible journey from the projects to raising almost $100M to build the esports platform of the future, breaking through as an outsider in tech, using leverage & partnerships to create a moat, his top 5 entrepreneurs & more!

0:42 Jason intros PlayVS CEO & Founder Delane Parnell
2:59 What is PlayVS, how do they make money & how fast are they growing?
5:37 Attracting investors, leveraging an exclusive contract to scale across US high schools & average hours spent on the platform by players
13:26 Delane shares his backstory, from flipping shoes to owning cell phone stores in high school to getting tickets to the LAUNCH Festival in SF
26:38 How Delane turned LAUNCH Festival networking to deal flow & a job in venture capital
32:52 Meeting Peter Pham at SXSW, moving to LA to start PlayVS
38:16 Delane on his relationship with Michael Ovitz
40:20 PlayVS’ go-to-market strategy & relationship with game publishers
45:51 PlayVS being co-ed & giving female gamers a safe environment to play in
51:08 Race in tech & Delane’s advice on breaking into the industry as an outsider
55:57 Not taking any checks from firms who hadn’t previously backed black founders
59:05 Does Darnell’s intentionality about diversity create a talent advantage for PlayVS?
1:06:06 Relief of hiring high-level operators
1:11:41 LA restaurant scene discussion
1:13:39 Bird vs. Lime vs. Uber, pricing model discussion, thought on Travis Kalanick
1:23:10 Top 5 Tech entrepreneurs of all-time
1:33:40 What’s going on at Airbnb?

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