916 Gaming wins First Pitch final at SBC Summit North America

916 Gaming Wins SBC First Pitch 2024
Image: 916 Gaming

916 Gaming won the SBC First Pitch final at SBC Summit North America on Thursday after competing against a talented pool of startups aiming to win a coveted prize bundle.

The gamified iCasino and iLottery games builder has won 2024’s SBC First Pitch award after presenting a business plan to a panel of industry and investment experts at Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey. Thursday’s competition saw 916 Gaming compete against four other finalists, who competed for a 6-month Sports & Emerging Verticals subscription by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, which is valued at $25,000.

The competition’s prize bundle also includes an exclusive brand or web design package from Vegas Kings worth $3,120, a promotional deal with SBC Media valued at $12,000, and a distribution package from GameOn worth $2,500 for a total value of over $40,000.

“When we first applied we weren’t quite sure what our chances were when we learned that it was the most applicants ever,” 916 Gaming co-founder and COO John Goehrke told SBC Americas. “But we were confident we might have a shot.”

916 Gaming presented a comprehensive business plan to an esteemed panel of judges.

The panel included iGaming Capital CEO Melissa Blau, Sharp Alpha Advisors Managing Partner Lloyd Danzig, Velo Partners Director Rob Duboff, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming Principal Adam Krejcik, The Betting Startups Podcast Host Jesse Learmonth, and Bettor Capital Senior Associate Cassandra Lee.

916 Gaming, which has secured partnerships with DraftKings and Hard Rock Bet, presented a plan to distribute to more than 1,000 casinos with global expansion at the forefront of growth. The company is aiming to permeate international markets while continuing to drive revenue and bring in new customers in licensed states across America.

“What we are doing is clearly resonating with not only our partners but also with a panel of judges who are professionals at evaluating companies on their ability to grow,” said co-founder and CEO Steven Astrachan.

916 Gaming raised $240,000 after closing a friends and family funding round before launching its first title, Cherry Blossom Riches, earlier this year through the DC Lottery. The startup aims to bring more titles to market with a $1 million round to develop its team.

It already has plans to deliver a NASCAR title with a goal to launch eight games in 2024.  

“If you were to tell us we were going to win this pitch a year ago, I think we would have been surprised so it speaks to the progress we’ve made and what’ve done so far,” added Goehrke.

The SBC First Pitch final also included AI and machine learning sports betting app EdgeSports, sports gaming research engine Linemate, data supplier StatX Sports, and crypto-focused payment solutions provider THNDR.