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New tech startups coming to Paducah following pitch competition

An entrance to Sprocket, a coworking space in Paducah.
Sprocket
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An entrance to Sprocket, a coworking space in Paducah.

Two new tech startups are moving into Paducah following a pitch competition that incentivized the new businesses to come to west Kentucky.

Sprocket, a nonprofit hosting a coworking space in Paducah’s Coke Plant, held its second annual “1ST50K” pitch day in July where a panel of judges made up of local entrepreneurs, executives and technological specialists listened to pitches from seven companies. The two winners of the competition, Ewagers and Feedcoyote, were each given $50,000 grants to bring their startups to the region.

Ewagers is an online wagering platform for Esports. Founder and CEO Ewagers Noah Fulk said his longtime passion for video games inspired him to create the company. While watching a video game streamer via Twitch, a video game broadcasting platform, Fulk made a small bet with his cousin over which player they thought would win.

“It got me thinking, why can't I do that with my friends who are in different states or other random people throughout the U.S.?” Fulk said. “I did a deep dive into the marketplace and realized there was a real break between the existing product and what the gamers want and need.”

Ewagers is also creating a nonprofit called The Esports Charity, where local businesses will be able to sponsor an Esports tournament with 100% of the proceeds going toward a local charity of the winners choice.

Users of Ewagers can make small wagers between two players or large wagers that can involve dozens of players through a bracket style competition. The company also offers wagers which allows users to predict the winner of an ongoing match. Users can also make bets on streamers.

“The users get to set this up,” Fulk says. “They set all the parameters. They can keep it public, private, they can just play with their friends. The entry fee can be one dollar, 20 dollars, 50 dollars. They have that full creativity.”

The second startup is Feedcoyote, a collaboration network for freelance entrepreneurs that allow them to connect online with those needing various expertise, such as marketing skills, and to quickly work on short term projects, along with building professional relationships.

Founder and CEO of Feedcoyote Stevens Bonhomme has worked with various tech companies including Microsoft. He said combining a passion for business and technology inspired him to create the startup.

“It inspired me to look into tech solutions combined with my experience working with small business and also my personal experience as an entrepreneur to build a company that can help other independent workers reach profitability faster,” Bonhomme said.

Feedcoyote is free to users. The platform assesses users’ capabilities and skills when they join and matches them to other entrepreneurs that have similar business interests and expertise.

“It's a really nice community,” Bonhomme said. “We hope to work with local entrepreneurs and local freelancers and investors and help with the economic boom of the region.”

Mason Galemore is a Murray State student studying journalism. He was the editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper. Since then has explored different publication avenues such as broadcasting. He hopes to travel as a journalist documenting conflict zones and different cultures. He remembers watching the Arab Spring in 2011 via the news when he was a kid, which dawned in a new age of journalism grounded in social media. His favorite hobbies are hiking, photography, reading, writing and playing with his Australian Shepard, Izzy. He is originally from Charleston, Missouri.
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