G2E 2018 will Utilize TV’s Shark Tank Method in Ongoing Hunt for the Next Big Thing

Posted on: July 3, 2018, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: July 3, 2018, 12:29h.

Sports betting — and the opportunities new regulated US markets will offer the gaming industry — will be the number-one topic at this year’s G2E in Las Vegas. After all, it’s the topic of the day. But what about tomorrow?

Star of Shark Tank and founder of FUBU clothing Daymon John will be at G2E this year in search of innovation in gaming. Hopeful applicants are required to submit pitches by July 27. (Image: Wikipedia)

Organizers are on the hunt for the next big thing at this year’s event, which runs from October 8 to 11 at the Sands Expo and is the largest meeting of international, commercial and tribal gaming professionals in the US.

That’s why, this year, the conference and trade show will be infested by sharks. A new feature, the Innovator Incubator, will borrow heavily from reality ABC show Shark Tank, in a bid to find entrepreneurs and innovators of the gaming industry’s future. It may not be an original idea, but it hopes to unearth a few.

Swimming with the Sharks

G2E sponsor the American Gaming Association is inviting students, entrepreneurs and start-ups to submit their ideas online by July 27 for consideration by a panel of industry experts.

Four successful applicants will have the chance to present their pitches on stage at a live event at the trade show in front of the judges, one of whom is a real “shark.”

Shark Tank regular Daymond John, the founder and CEO of hip-hop clothing company FUBU, will be grilling the four budding gaming innovators, as will Cindy Eckert, investor and founder of Sprout Pharmaceuticals.

Cash and Trade Show Booths for Winners

The winner chosen by the judges will receive $10,000 in funding and the free use of a trade show booth at the 2019 G2E. There will also be a booth up for grabs for the best idea for the audience favorite as chosen by live polling.

Pitches must cover at least one of four areas: academic approach to gaming floor innovation; academic approach to hospitality and resorts development; startup or academic approach to solve or streamline regulatory challenges; or startup or academic approach to create greater efficiencies for operators and suppliers.

“Innovation Incubator at G2E is about giving all innovators — whether from gaming, hospitality or academia — the opportunity to bring their ideas to the forefront during one of gaming’s largest events of the year,” said Allie Barth, vice president of industry relations of the American Gaming Association.

“The gaming industry was built by entrepreneurs with innovation in their DNA. At G2E, we embrace and spotlight gaming innovation on the show floor, delivering a powerful platform to drive the industry forward.”