For his startup, Skillz, Paradise decided to build technology that gives
mobile game players more opportunities to compete—and helps game
developers earn more money. With the Skillz technology platform, developers can create games with capabilities that would otherwise be cost
prohibitive. Players who use Skillz-enabled games can compete for cash or
prizes, and the games can also be live streamed and replayed. This allows
game developers to generate additional sources of revenue, instead of
relying on download fees, advertising or in-app purchases.
Co-founded in March 2012 with Casey Chafkin, AisleBuyer’s former
VP of business development, Skillz aims to democratize the world of
e-sports. E-sports involves competitive video games that usually require
plenty of strategy and weaponry (like Halo or League of Legends), along
with an audience—and an elite group of players. Competition is accessible to about 1 percent of players, says Paradise, who serves as CEO,
adding: “People complain about this a lot.” That’s changing with Skillz,
which allows casual mobile game players to compete in tournaments.
It’s a business idea grounded in the company’s trademarked phrase:
“eSports for Everyone.”