(Image courtesy of GamrPod; gif by Paige Gross)
Dalton Carroll and Sam Speaker were teammates long before they launched their venture, Gamrpod, which builds a soundproof, fully equipped live streaming gaming booth.
The pair were Division One soccer players and roommates at Temple University a few years back, and in their downtime, would spend time playing video games together.
They were going down different paths — Carroll went into audio engineering and sales while Speaker became a public accountant. But their love of gaming, and the rise of esports as an industry, steered them toward their new startup, which launches next month with its first installation in Chinatown’s TAP Esports Center.
The cofounders recognized that the barrier to entry into the gaming and live streaming industry can be incredibly high, considering cost of equipment and space to set up.
“That’s kind of what spurred the idea of Gamrpod, a rentable by-the-hour soundproof booth that gives the opportunity to amateur, young, startup streamers,” Speaker said.
It can easily cost thousands of dollars to set up a usable system at home, he said. But the startup will allow users to access the equipment for less than $20 an hour.
The individual GamrPods are equipped with “a high end PC, peripherals including web cam and microphone, a green screen, the most popular games and broadcasting software,” the company’s Indegogo campaign says.
Carroll said the esports arena coming to the Sports Complex in South Philly and the massive Fortnite competition in New York City (where a 16-year-old from MontCo took home $3 million) are good signs that the industry is growing.
“Although our legacy skull and crossbones will forever hold a place in our hearts, we’ve revolutionized what it means to be a Nerd with a new, sleek design that represents our unwavering mission: To lower the barrier of entry to compete in esports,” the NSG website now touts.
“It’s a pretty strong indicator that Philly will be jumping onto esport platform and market,” Carroll said.
Speaker and Carroll are planning for a fleet of pods that can be set up at gaming competitions and in esports centers.
The cofounders are raising friends and family funding, and have only been working on the venture for about three months. They’re also the only employees of the company so far, and have handled the design, construction and roll out of the product themselves.
“It’s been a pretty crazy couple of months,” Speaker said.-30-
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