ICE Africa’s festival of female influencers from the world of gaming to celebrate Women’s Month in South Africa continues with invaluable insight into an aspect of the industry close to many people’s hearts, the start-up. Maria Boelius, co-founder and CEO of Cashmio, gives her own advice into how to a start-up gaming business exploring the intricacies of entrepreneurship, iGaming and making fantasies come true.
Commenting on how to develop a start-up, Maria explained: “Stay true to your Heart. Back in 2012 I started as the Finnish country coordinator at Redbet, fast forward a few years and I co-founded an affiliate business and about a year after that, I started a Casino (Cashmio) together with my partner. I would say that I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly that this industry has to throw at you. Anyone who has a foot in this industry can see the appeals, we’re all allowed to work with great products and the rush of the game is a part of our everyday life. Founding a start-up in the gaming industry will put you through many different tests, however, there’s a vast difference between the B2B and the B2C side of the industry.”
“On the B2B affiliate side, you are being spoiled by your partners and you work much more ‘outside of the product’ together with your partners while on B2C side you are able to make your fantasy come to life through your product,” she continued. “You are able to build an amazing team to work with and you have contact with your end user that helps you get feedback and further improve your product. Starting up a business within the iGaming industry might seem easy but it’s not for the faint hearted, as we are dependent on that Lady Luck is on our side as much as the players are. You need to make sure that you have a clear idea of what you are trying to do and stick to it. You need to have the ‘heart’ of the business and keep true to it so that you don´t get lost in the industry trying to please too many wishes.”
The Cashmio model was created after Maria felt there was a need not being met in the iGaming Casino side of the industry and since its inception in 2015, the company under her management has grown from strength to strength. Discussing the market, Maria explained: “Whether you choose the B2C side or B2B, the iGaming industry is an environment that is unlike any other. You will meet so many entrepreneurs that even though they might be your direct competitors wish you nothing but success and will in many cases help you out with tips and tricks so don’t be afraid to reach out to people you don’t know and ask for help should you need it.”
She concluded: “I’d also like to point out that this industry is quick, dynamic and constantly changing. This means that your competitor today might be your partner tomorrow, your customer support agent today will be the business leader tomorrow so do take care about your personal relationships and treat everyone you come in contact with, with respect. I wish you all the best of luck!”
ICE Africa will comprise an extensive learning agenda, world class training and staff development modules, products and services from leading gaming brands and extensive networking opportunities. Supporting partners for ICE Africa include, the South African Bookmakers’ Association, the Western Cape Bookmakers Association, the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling and the European Casino Association.
For more information on the first ICE Africa and to register, visit the ICE Africa website: www.iceafrica.za.com