The Esportspreneur Expo is a
FREE public 5-day virtual event open to students, higher education professionals, and the general public. Esports job platform
Hitmarker saw an 87.03% increase in new jobs between 2018 and 2019, with California seeing the most growth, demonstrating significant new employment opportunities. This expo aims to create
inspire engagement in our growing esports communities.
The Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is proud to introduce this series in collaboration with the California State University Entertainment Alliance (CSUEA), Twitch Student, and UCI Esports.
Monday, May 3rd, 2021
Esports 101 & Entrepreneurship
Experts in the esports and gaming spaces introduce viewers to the basics of esports and demystify the industry. Stay a while and listen to discover how these entrepreneurs combined their passion with innovation to create fun and successful enterprises.
10:00 AM -10:45 AM Opening Remarks & Keynote Speaker: John Davidson: Chair of the Esports Trade Association, Founder & CEO of DLC Youth
10:45 AM -11:00 AM Esports Wellness by AimStrong
11:00 AM - Noon Esports 101 & Entrepreneurship
Noon - 12:30 PM Fireside Chat: ATEYO founders Rachel and Breanne
12:30 PM -1:00 PM Student Showcase and closing remarks
Sign up for Day One Watch Day One on Twitch
Tuesday, May 4th, 2021
Monetizing Through Streaming
Regardless if you are a novice learning about Twitch for the first time or if you’re up-and-coming with a moderate sized audience, take your entrepreneurial endeavors to the next level with top tier insider tips and tricks to monetize your content and successfully grow your brand to new heights.
10:00 AM -10:45 AM Opening Remarks & Keynote Speaker: Devin "Mylixia" Nash: CMO of Novo
11:00 AM - Noon Monetizing through Streaming
Noon - 12:30 PM Fireside Chat: WoW Arena World Championships Sideline Reporter, Gillian "Eiya" Long
12:30 PM -1:00 PM Student Showcase and closing remarks
Sign up for Day Two Watch Day Two on Twitch
Wednesday, May 5th, 2021
Creating Inclusive & Healthy Spaces on Campus
Toxicity doesn’t have to be part of our online culture. Hear from industry leaders in the space on ways we can improve our communities through mental and physical wellness to create inclusive and healthy spaces on campus for everyone.
10:00 AM -10:45 AM Opening Remarks & Fireside Chat: UCI Esports Director Mark Deppe
11:00 AM - Noon Creating Inclusive & Healthy Spaces
Noon - 12:30 PM Student Showcase and closing remarks
Sign up for Day Three Watch Day Three on Twitch
Thursday, May 6th, 2021
Path to Pro & Careers
Want to be the best? Learn from the best! Professional Overwatch team, San Francisco Shock shares what it means to be a professional esports athlete and how to beat out the competition for a spot on the roster. Looking for work in the esports and gaming spaces? Rank up your skills with insider tips and tricks on how to land a career in esports.
10:00 AM -10:45 AM Opening Remarks & Keynote Speaker: Kyle O’Connor: Owner at Creative Social Media Services
11:00 AM - Noon Andy Miller & San Francisco Shock
Noon - 12:30 PM Fireside Chat: ESPN and former WWE’s Arda Öcal
Sign up for Day Four Watch Day Four on Twitch
Friday, May 7th, 2021
Hear from specialists like professional esports team Envy’s VP of Events, Justin Rojas, pro NBA2K player Brent “Lord Beezus” Aasgaard, and Boise State’s award winning Head Coach, Dr. Haskell, along with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives on what it takes to put on a successful event.
10:00 AM -10:45 AM Opening Remarks & Keynote Speaker: Justin Rojas: VP of Events for Team Envy
11:00 AM - Noon Event Management Panel
Noon - 12:30 PM Boise State Esports’ Award Winning Head Coach, Doc Haskell
Sign up for Day Five Watch Day Five on Twitch
Donna "BasicTaq" Walters: Event Host and Panel Moderator
Donna “BasicTaq” Walters is deeply entrenched in the collegiate esports spaces largely due to her work with advancing grassroots initiatives for students throughout California and on a national level with her committee and ambassador work in the Esports Trade Association, CORSAIR, and non-profit organization, Leyline. As an undergrad at Sac State, she built an award-winning campus gaming community, performed at multiple speaking engagements, and assisted premium brands such as the Big Sky Conference and California State Fair with creating personalized esports events, leagues, and tournaments.
During her graduate work,
Donna founded the CSU Esports Collective and is actively working to bring together and support the 23 California State University (CSU) campus esports communities, along with the UC and CA Community College systems, through key connections, best practices, and resources needed to move forward collectively and in better alignment with campus and industry needs.
Dr. Dina Ibrahim: Panel Moderator
Dr. Dina Ibrahim is a Professor of Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts at San Francisco State University. She teaches video and audio news production, live streaming, esports, interviewing techniques and optimizing audio visual performance. She spent over ten years reporting and producing for the BBC World Service, United Press International, CNN & NPR. Her research interests include innovative content creation, audience identity impact, news depictions of Islam, as well as post-revolution Egypt. She is also Executive Director of the CSU Entertainment Alliance, which connects campuses to entertainment and technology companies.
John Davidson: Chair of the Esports Trade Association, Founder & CEO of DLC Youth
John Davidson, TEDx and active speaker on gaming and youth marketing, is formerly the Head of Partnerships at GameStop, currently leads esports for PRG, the world’s leading event technology company, and is Founder and CEO of Davidson Learning Company (DLC). John also serves as Chair of the Esports Trade Association, advisor for Stadia Ventures, The Uptown Agency and Dallas Influencers in Sports and Entertainment. Through a diverse career in skateboarding, video production, marketing and business development, John has a unique perspective and understanding of subcultures and consumer behavior.
Rachel Feinberg & Breanne Harrison-Pollock: Co-Founders of ATEYO
Last year, Forbes called Ateyo the ‘Nike of Esports’ and the pair won Forbes 30 under 30. Together they are on a mission to impact gaming for the future generation by creating community, opportunity, and an equal map for all.
Nalesh Chandra and Young Phan: Co-Founders of Tabu Ohana
Nalesh Chandra is a Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer (aka "The Professional'') at Tabu Ohana. His background and former corporate experience made him a great fit to co-create the company and lead the marketing and business operations for the brand. On a day-to-day basis Nalesh looks for ways to find and delight new and existing customers while keeping the company on track.
Young Phan is a Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (aka "The Visionary") at Tabu Ohana. His military experience coupled with years of being an entrepreneur and business owner positioned him as a natural to co-create the company and lead the ideation efforts for the brand. On a day-to-day basis Young moves the team forward into new territory, new opportunities and is the go-to team member for innovative ideas.
Jeremy De La Rosa: Founder & CEO of Leyline
Jeremy Dela Rosa is a
10 year veteran of Blizzard Entertainment, with nearly 2 decades of experience in the technology sector. As a producer at Blizzard, he helped launch over 7 AAA titles such as Overwatch, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo III, Starcraft 2, and World of Warcraft. Additionally, he spent several years living abroad in France and traveling the globe to lead Digital Marketing, International Operations, and Business development efforts. Later in his career, he helped launch multiple Activision Blizzard esports leagues including the Overwatch League, Heroes Global Championship, Hearthstone Championship Tour, while also heading up Blizzard's collegiate esports program Tespa.
He's the Founder & CEO of
Leyline, a social impact organization. Leyline is a not-for-profit, open source, and open knowledge project that is building an ecosystem of positive impact using the power of gaming and blockchain.
Kahlil Keys: Director of Strategic Initiatives at Gen. G Esports
Kahlil Keys is a California native and a 2015 Yale University graduate, where participated on the Varsity Football Team and received a B.A. in Political Science. Upon graduation, Kahlil moved to New York City to pursue a career at Major League Baseball in Corporate Sponsorship Sales & Marketing. Kahlil recently started a new position as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Gen.G Esports, where he helps create integrated marketing partnerships and cause initiatives that advance the organization’s mission of building a global, inclusive, and cross-cultural future for sports entertainment.
Kahlil currently resides in Sacramento, CA with his wife Sara. Outside of work, Kahlil is passionate about supporting and empowering youth and recently launched a mentorship program for young men (Brotherhood Restored), which aims to influence and develop the next generation of leaders by implementing custom programming centered around four core pillars: Identity, Purpose, Community, and Action.
Alex Sinatra - Your Potential for Everything
Alex holds a BBA in Marketing and a JD from Texas A&M University and Texas A&M University School of Law, respectively. Her practice includes sports law, employment and corporate law, along with advising companies on their specific needs. She has been an in-house counsel for a famous sports family, a multinational company, various startups, and most recently, a professional sports team.
Along with being an attorney, Alex has worked remotely for USA TODAY Sports Media Group's NFL Wire sites since 2016 as a journalist and content producer. She provides her unique perspective on all things NFL including national anthem policies, sports betting, DE&I, and was the first female to be hired by the NFL Wire sites. Additionally, Alex has been involved in providing consultation to various esports entities and players within the industry.
She is the founder of a strategic sports consulting business that provides strategies to businesses and individuals in the sports and esports industry so they can be more productive, effective, and efficient in their respective roles. Schedule a consultation at
https://www.yourpotentialforeverything.com/booknow to learn more about her services.
Devin “Mylixia” Nash: CMO of Novo
Devin Nash is a prominent thought leader in the digital marketing space. His work is dedicated to understanding marketing trends with a focus on Twitch, Youtube, and social media spaces. Devin co-runs a premiere talent and creative solutions agency for new media, Novo. He’s also a top influencer on Twitch, where he talks about the industry and interviews successful people from all walks of life.
Gillian “Eiya” Long: World of Warcraft Championship Sideline Reporter
Gillian “Eiya” Long is an Esports Sideline Reporter and Host, a producer, a content creator, and a streamer. She graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism. She has been gaming since she was 9 years old, starting with Unreal Tournament. Eiya began her career in esports in 2016 working behind the scenes. In 2019 she started working in front of the camera and most recently has been focusing more on content creation.
Kevin Hoang: Entrepreneur, Former Program Manager at Twitch
Kevin Hoang was formerly the Program Manager at Twitch and is working on bringing esports into education.
Hantao Yuan: Head of Gaming at Overtime
Hantao runs all of the gaming initiatives for Overtime. He's a competitive babysitting athlete.
Danny Berger: Digital Content Producer for SteelSeries
Danny is the Digital Content Producer for SteelSeries. He focuses on created organic social content to be distributed across all social platforms for the Global SteelSeries accounts. Previously, Danny was the Director of Content for the Atlanta Reign Overwatch League Team in charge of content and social media. He has been creating content for 7+ years and enjoys spending time helping educate up and coming creatives on how to break into the industry.
Alex Hutchi: Creator of Five Minute Gamer
Prior to 5MG, Alex founded a digital marketing agency. The experience of sales, copywriting, and content marketing was the start of Alex’s entrepreneur journey. Alex’s cross industry experience in fashion and content creation led Alex to work in the gaming industry with a focus on twitch live stream production. Alex developed a passion for presenting throughout the years including hosting virtual events, podcasting and much more. Alex is currently the Head of Gaming Influencer Strategy at Noowave Coffee. The 2.0 version of Alex’s digital marketing agency focuses more on live streaming and copywriting for gaming companies with a wide range of business models.
Mark Deppe: UCI Esports Director
Mark led the effort to create the award-winning esports program at UCI. Working closely with student leaders, administrators, faculty, and industry partners, Mark built a business plan that was both cost-neutral to the university and that broadly approaches the world of esports through the five pillars of Competition, Research, Community, Entertainment, and Careers. Mark was selected to serve as the inaugural commissioner for the North America Scholastic Esports Federation, helping connect learning to student interests. In June 2018, UCI’s League of Legends team won the College League of Legends Championship. In October 2018, UCI’s esports program was awarded “Most Outstanding Collegiate Program” by the esports industry at the Tempest Awards. While at UCI, Mark has coordinated many campus traditions including helping break Guinness Book World records. Mark has a B.S. in psychobiology from UCLA and an MBA from Cal State Fullerton's College of Business and Economics.
Cat Tompkins: MSI Program Manager for Esports and Education
Cat Tompkins is the Program Manager for Esports and Education at MSI and current MBA student at California State University, Long Beach. In her role at MSI, she is responsible for directing partnership development within the esports space and assisting with the growth of esports at universities and K-12 education systems in the US.
Cat has nearly 8 years of marketing, public relations, and business development experience within the esports, gaming and tech industry. She began her career at Cal State Long Beach as president of the CSULB Esports Association, expanding the organization’s rosters into various esports titles. Her goal is to bring awareness to the various career paths that students can take within the industry, from STEM-oriented pathways to marketing and more.
Vivian Nguyen: Team Liquid Business Intelligence Data Manager
Vivian Nguyen is the Business Intelligence Data Manager over at Team Liquid, as well as the co-founder of Liquid Hacks, Team Liquid's hackathon event series. She is in charge of handling all data-related projects within the org, as well as EDU initiatives. Vivian's mission at Team Liquid is to give aspiring esports professionals an opportunity to showcase their skills and contribute their own value to all esports and gaming spaces.
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Billy Sprout: Collegiate Esports Director at Mainline
Since founding the UConn gaming club in 2012, Billy Sprout has dedicated his life to social gaming and esports programs. That passion has given him a wide spectrum of experiences, including hundreds of hours of AAA livestream productions, live gaming events in partnership with ESPN and the Fiesta Bowl, and esports tournaments with 6-figure prize pools. To date, his tournament programs have connected students from 1,200 universities and have awarded over 3 million dollars in scholarships to students that find a balance between social gaming and individual development.
Coach Craig: Founder of Aim Strong
Craig Miszewski holds a Master’s in Education, Positive Coaching through the University of Missouri and a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Exercise Science from Springfield College in Massachusetts. He has earned credentials from the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association and the National Strength & Conditioning Association.
Coach Craig has worked with a variety of sports at the highest levels of NCAA competition. As a veteran of training and developing athletes through all stages of athletic careers, his passion has taken him all across the United States, including but not limited to Georgetown University, the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), and the University of California, Davis.
His newest venture, Aim Strong, allows him the opportunity to give athletes at all levels the tools they need to develop skills both in- and out-of-competition. He is passionate about connecting with clients, athletes, teams, and coaches and collaborating with them to create a plan for their success.
In addition to training athletes, you will find him challenging his own skills by training and competing in strength sports like Strongman, Highland Games, and Powerlifting.
Kyle O’Connor: Owner at Creative Social Media Services
Kyle started his career in esports and gaming at IGN.com, a worldwide leader in games and entertainment media, where he earned his stripes in social media and content creation. From there he was recruited by Twitch to create content for the Twitch social media channels which he did until he was again recruited but this time by Blizzard to launch the Overwatch League marketing channels. After the Overwatch League's inaugural season he set off on his own to create his own Media Agency which he has been doing for going on three years now and has worked with companies like his old employer Twitch, the ESRB, Wizards of the Coast, 100 Thieves, and more.
Arda Ocal: Emmy nominated anchor and host at ESPN
Hi, my name is Arda! I’m an Emmy nominated anchor and currently a host at ESPN and the voice of the NHL Gaming World Championships. I’m the son of immigrant Muslim parents from Turkey, who moved to a wonderful community just outside of Toronto. I’ve been pursuing this crazy dream of broadcasting in one form or another since 2000. Earlier in my career I hosted a morning show, in which I had the distinct honor of interviewing folks from all walks of life, including A-list celebrities and the local gardener. I also learned how to keep it cool while reporting live from the middle of deadly snow storms and floods. Since then I have hosted programs that aired in 120 countries, called world title fights, and reported live on ESPN Sportscenter. I’ve had the pleasure of hosting a variety of events, including everything from Dog grooming competitions to competitive table tennis, comic cons to video game conventions, and TED talks. Alan Thicke once told me that I have pretty eyes, and Cuba Gooding Jr. demanded I give him my socks. All in a day’s work! Other random facts about me: I’m in Mensa (it’s not as hard as you might think!), I’m often the first Muslim-Canadian broadcaster to be hired on the air at (insert station, network or global sports or entertainment brand here). I have a lovely wife, Jennifer, and a beautiful baby girl, Ayla! In my off time I’m an adjunct professor in the Sports Broadcasting Masters Program at Iona College.
Andy Miller: Co-owner of the Sacramento Kings, Founder and CEO of NRG Esports
Miller is currently a co-owner of the Sacramento Kings, and founder and CEO of NRG Esports, a professional gaming and entertainment company based in Los Angeles. Previously, Miller co-founded Quattro Wireless, acquired by Apple, where he served as Vice President of mobile advertising reporting to Steve Jobs.
Brett Lautenbach: President of NRG
Brett is currently the president of NRG. Prior to joining NRG Brett worked as an agent at WME/IMG where he consulted for brands, worked with tournament organizers, and advised on investments in the esports and gaming space. During his time at WME/IMG he worked with notable brands such as TMOBILE, BudLight, and VISA. Lautenbach is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and hails from Illinois.
Cory Vincent: VP of Event Marketing for NRG
Cory has been an avid gamer since childhood, but upon entering adulthood was forced to put gaming on the back-burner and succumb to the monotony of day to day life. After suffering an unexpected loss in the family and a battle with mental health, he decided that life is too short and that it was time to pursue his passion for video games and esports as a career. Vincent started the Videogame BANG! podcast which after a few years of hard work led to an entry level job with NRG Esports. In just 4 years he would grow from Director of Social Media to the VP of Event Marketing.
NGR: Professional Esports Team
NRG is a professional gaming and entertainment company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 2015, NRG has embodied competitive esports excellence and the best of gaming culture over the last half-decade. Known for championship teams and innovative gaming lifestyle content, NRG is the most-watched org in the world on Twitch and YouTube. NRG boasts the most-viewed and storied competitive Fortnite roster in the game, the reigning world champion Rocket League team, and an Apex Legends squad with numerous national and international titles under its belt. Additionally, NRG’s Call of Duty league team, Optic Chicago, is the CDL's most popular team, and the San Francisco Shock, the org’s Overwatch League team, is a world champion powerhouse having just won back-to-back World's Grand Finals.
NRG's owned content channels span YouTube, Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and our newly launched Snap Discover show. NRG's recently launched social gaming brand (December 2020), Full Squad Gaming, already has millions of followers on Tik Tok and is positioned to become the biggest gaming brand on the platform! Currently, the corporate owned channels reach over 25M uniques a month, fostering over 125M fan engagements. Our player channels reach an additional 75M uniques a month.
NRG also has opened the NRG Hot Pockets Castle in Downtown Los Angeles. This innovative studio/play space is a Fantasy Factory for gamers featuring giant creative installations, studio space, scrim/stream areas and general craziness. Organization and content sponsors include Nestle, Levis, Purple Mattress, Popeyes, Roccat/Turtle Beach, National Guard, General Mills, Net App and T-Mobile.
Justin Rojas: VP of Events for Team Envy
Justin Rojas has over a decade of experience in marketing, production, events, and business development for anime, film, gaming and esports industries. As Director of Social Strategy and Development at Funimation, he created and pioneered social media and events for the Sony-owned Japanese anime distribution company. At Envy Gaming, Justin currently focuses on producing in-person and digital events, including the first-ever home game in esports history with over 9000 attendees at Dallas Fuel's Overwatch League 2019 Homestand Weekend. He also co-founded a voice over recording and events company called Studio Nano, as well as the digital fan convention HomeCon. In addition to working behind the scenes, he also hosts countless events, panels, live streams, and talk shows.
Dr. Chris Haskell: Award-winning Head Coach for Boise State Esports
Dr. Chris Haskell is the Head Coach and Director of the Varsity Esports at Boise State, 2020 Collegiate Esports Coach of the Year (NAECAD) and 2020 Esports Director of the Year (NACE). As a professor, "Doc" also focuses on developing talented players, casters, and esports professionals. Boise State is widely considered one of the top esports programs with nationally ranked teams in Overwatch, League of Legends, and Rocket League.
Cristina Amaya: Head of Events at Team Liquid
Cristina Amaya is Head of Events at Team Liquid and runs the Events and Tournaments for the organization. She is the president of Latinx in Gaming, Vice Chair for the IGDA & a consultant for the*gameHERs. Cristina comes from a background with Unity, Twitch & more!
Brent “Lord Beezus” Aasgaard: Professional NBA2K Player for Utah Jazz Gaming
Twitch.tv/LordBeezus_ Twitter - @LordBeezus_ Instagram - @BeezyThor
Brent " Lord Beezus" Aasgaard -10+ years’ experience in customer service and operations management with a passion for electronic sports currently competing as a professional gamer and previously co-founding and managing a multi-gaming organization. Amassed over $300, 000 strictly from my gaming career and history. I offer strong leadership skills with an excellent wealth of knowledge in the esports industry. Graduated with honors from University of Houston majoring in Management and Marketing. Drafted in 2019 in the NBA 2K League as the #24 overall pick by the Indiana Pacers professional NBA 2K team and contributed to make the playoffs for the 1st time in franchise history. Spent the following year playing for Utah Jazz Gaming where we finished with a 14-2 regular season record and reached the final 4 in the playoffs also achieving its first playoff berth in franchise history. Retained by Jazz Gaming at the end of the season and about to begin my 2nd season with the team.
Jessica Madrigal: Gamers Lounge Manager at CSU San Bernardino
Jessica Madrigal is the Gamers Lounge Manager at California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB). She is also an Alumni from CSUSB and began her career at the University in 2014. She first started in the newly created Office of Special Events and Guest Services and then progressed to the Santos Manuel Student Union where she is the Operations and Gamers Lounge Manager. Jessica enjoys serving students and during the pandemic has been focused on the creation of an Esports program at CSUSB. She is also the advisor to the newly created Esports Club and the chair of the CSUSB Esports Advisory Committee. In 2018 Jessica along with CSUSB students created Coyote Cross Up, a fighting game festival. The event focused on fighting game tournaments and featured a panel of professionals in the gaming industry, casual play, an artist alley and food trucks. In its first year it was attended by 300 guests and continues to be an annual event for the Gamers Lounge.
It takes a lot of hard to create and share opportunities like this one so that a new road to success can be paved for our communities and future leaders. Thank you to the mentors and campus partners across the CSU, UC, and CA Community College systems for supporting us and contributing your time, energy, and talent to our passion.
Students and professionals shouldn’t work for free in esports and gaming spaces. We want to combat this trend but need your help. By providing professional learning opportunities backed by financial support, students can pave their career paths while focusing on what’s most important:
Thank you to our sponsors for their generosity and for helping us make a difference in our students' lives.