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City Investment in Local Technology and Entrepreneurial Programs Helps Launch New Local Company

Local esports company Champria prioritizes forming local partnerships

Last summer Mayor Tim Keller and the Economic Development Department invested in two programs to create jobs and address inequality in the local economy: a digital coding bootcamp and a tech accelerator for Hispanic-founded startups.

165 students successfully completed the digital coding camps and 6 companies successfully graduated from the tech accelerator. Now, a new company with ties to both programs is launching in the fast-growing esports sector in Albuquerque. Champria, a web platform that helps esports teams and players manage and organize their stats and data is making two key hires in its trajectory to become a leader in esports data and team management.

“We stepped up to create opportunities for those who have been historically left behind,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Our investments are positioning Albuquerque for a bright economic future. Companies like Champria prove that the right local resources invested in the right places have ripple effects.”

Funding from the City of Albuquerque’s Economic Development Department provided support for both Cultivating Coders and the tech accelerator program from which Champria graduated.

“Our department is ensuring the future success of Albuquerque by providing opportunities and resources to our workforce and to our thriving tech sector.” said Synthia Jaramillo, Director, City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department. “We’re pleased to see our investments into key programs that focus on supporting underrepresented populations pay off.”

Founded by Albuquerque native Zeke Chavez, Champria centralizes and automates many of the cumbersome processes of running and being a part of an esports team. Champria’s digital dashboard serves as the interface point between team leaders and players for data, recruitment, and rosters. Before Champria, team leaders often managed and tracked stats with disparate platforms not meant for esports like ad hoc spreadsheets. Champria’s technologies are built from the ground up specifically to assist in the organization and management of a player’s or team’s journey in the esports world.

“Our users spend hundreds of hours perfecting their craft, just wishing for a chance to go pro. We felt it was well overdue they had a platform to call home,” said Zeke Chavez, CEO and founder of Champria. “Esports has gone from gaming nights with a few friends to a billion-dollar industry with millions of gamers across the globe. We are so excited to get Champria in the hands of these gamers so players and teams can complete their journey of new players to pro.”

Champria was developed alongside a Cultivating Coders bootcamp, the first time a tech accelerator directly collaborated with a coding bootcamp. Champria utilized teachers, students, and leaders of Cultivating Coders to plan out its tech track, gather feedback during the critical customer discovery process, and most importantly, create opportunities for development work with Champria.

According to Champria, the company received an initial investment of $100,000 after graduating from a local accelerator program dedicated to investing in Latinx and Hispanic-founded startups. The funding has allowed the company to continue developing the platform, as well as hire local tech talent.

Champria hired a Chief Technology Officer and full stack developer from Cultivating Coders, where CTO William Farmerie is a program instructor. Brandon Trebowski, CTO for Cultivating Coders, also served as a technical advisor for Champria, providing valuable insight and over a decade of experience.

“In our early days we struggled to find the right talent locally, but now we are primed to scale our business effectively and provide employment opportunities to locally grown developers,” continued Chavez. “We feel fortunate to have a solid pipeline of local talent right here in Albuquerque.”

“Tech startups need talent. Cultivating Coders is creating a coding workforce pipeline who are hungry to learn and find work in development. Being able to match our local talent to a local tech company is exactly what we hoped would happen when we put entrepreneurs and coders together,” said Charles Ashley III, Founder/CEO Cultivating Coders.

Champria also partnered with local design studio UKUU Creative, who designed the platform’s branding.

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About Cultivating Coders

Cultivating Coders is an innovative and inclusive coding bootcamp that breaks down and crosses boundaries... literally. Instead of students coming to them, they take their bootcamp to them. Because greater reach means greater impact. And that’s worth traveling for. Sometimes that means going to parts of rural America that few have even heard of. Other times, it means traveling to inner-city neighborhoods overlooked by traditional STEM education. And often, it’s somewhere in between. Wherever the destination, they prime the next generation of coders to help create a better future for themselves and their communities.

About UKUU Creative

UKUU Creative is a design studio that generates unique visual tools and services. The term itself means “helping a person create greatness from their ideas”. The studio’s design services include branding, graphic design, website design, marketing, three-dimensional renderings and other visualization strategies. UKUU Creative is dedicated to serving a greater purpose. They complete the circle: meeting real human needs with strong design solutions.

What is esports?

For those too embarrassed to ask, we got your back! Esports is professional or semi-professional competitive video gaming, often with a goal (like a championship title) or prize money on the line. Esports gamers can play as individual players or join teams. Viewers can also watch streamed events online, resulting in millions of viewers for single events. While anyone can be a gamer, only a few gamers are esports players.

The world of esports has grown from a couple of friends gaming on weekends to a full-fledged spectator sport, with hundreds of millions of esports enthusiasts watching competitive events each year.  According to Newzoo’s global esports market report, global esports revenues will grow to $1.1 billion in 2020, up from $950.6 million in 2019. Globally, the total esports audience will grow to 495 million people in 2020, and esports Enthusiasts will make up 222.9 million of this number, growing +10.8% year on year.

Colleges have also begun to embrace the world of esports. Many across the country now offer full-ride scholarships for gamers. So, before you tell that kid to put down the video game, it could be their ticket to a bright future.