In May, Veikkaus’ headquarters will focus intensively on e-sports. Together with Avanto Ventures, Veikkaus will organize an Innovation Challenge Week, where 8-10 startup companies are considering what they could do with Veikkaus in e-sports.

The Challenge Week will be held at Veikkaus’ headquarters in Helsinki, Northern Hague on 20-24 May. It is a competition that enables Veikkaus and startups to find opportunities for collaboration and growth. The winner of the competition will receive a EUR 30,000 extension contract to develop the idea. We welcome both Finnish and foreign start-ups.

“We want to find the best ideas in the world and the best partners to implement them. We believe that such a partner may well be found in the e-sports and startup world. At the same time, we can offer startups the opportunity to bring their innovation to the market,” says Heidi Ioannidou, Executive Vice President, Business Planning and Innovation at Veikkaus.

The challenge week is not meant to develop the actual games but the services or solutions related to e-sports. This might be a product, service, or platform, such as an esport. The goal is to produce innovative solutions for the esports player, team or fan, Ioannidou clarifies.

During Innovation Challenge Week, Veikkaus also hears interesting speakers, and betting mentors help startups in design work. The week culminates in a pitching event where startups are allowed to present their ideas in two minutes.

Esports launches innovation weeks

The Innovation Challenge Week in May is the first one, but similar weeks are planned to be held on a variety of topics. Let’s start with the Esports challenge.

“Esports is now a very popular species. It is the fifth most popular sport in Pitcover in Veikkaus and the fourth most popular live bet,” Ioannidou explains.

Veikkaus was one of the first gaming companies to become an esports betting site already in 2014. Now another kind of learning is being sought on esports. “We believe that things can be found in the world of esports that Veikkaus can use in its own business. We’ll learn from the world of players so we can offer the best gaming experience,” Ioannidou says.

Veikkaus is Finland’s largest gaming industry employer and wants to be the industry leader. It has the exclusive right to organize gambling in Finland, but in the digital world, competition is international. Veikkaus needs to develop its activities, innovate in new ways, explore and develop new opportunities.

“We want to succeed in a changing world. Our goal is to be the international leader in the gaming industry and that’s why we have to do something different than others. We’re starting to develop things that no one else has done yet,” says Ioannidou.