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Dylan: If you hear a bunch of people screaming at Copley Square at 2 p.m. this is probably why. Oh, and don’t forget to submit nominations to 50 on Fire.

Lucy: As competitive video gaming becomes more mainstream, a new economy is emerging to support the esports ecosystem. Just ask Nicholas “Shifty” Travis.

Dylan: Since November, Travis has been working as a full-time coach for Team Dignitas, a professional esports team owned by the Philadelphia 76ers for which he focuses on the popular game Overwatch. When he’s not coaching for Dignitas, he brings in extra income by offering Overwatch coaching to anyone who’s willing to pay $20 an hour, which is made possible through an esports coaching platform called Gamer Sensei.

Gamers are now spending “many thousands of dollars” on Gamer Sensei to train with coaches (or senseis) like Travis, according to Gamer Sensei COO Jim Drewry, a former executive at WB Games.

That high volume of money running through Gamer Sensei’s platform and other signs of traction have prompted investors to pour more money into the Boston startup, which previously raised a $2.5M seed round last year. On Wednesday, the company announced it has raised a new $4M round from a group of venture capital firms, including lead investors Cambridge-based Accomplice and Norwood-based Advancit Capital.

Gamer Sensei’s latest investment is another sign of investors’ growing interest in the esports market, which brought in $892M in revenue last year and is expected to reach $1.1B in 2018, according to research firm Superdata. One of the largest signs from this year is when it was announced in July that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon bought their own Overwatch teams. Read more: Gamer Sensei Raises $4M for Esports Coaching Platform

Lucy: Big news for job seekers. Facebook is planning to hire more than 500 employees as the tech giant confirmed the opening of its new office in Cambridge next year, The Boston Globe reported. The company will move to its current location in Kendall Square to the top three floors of 100 Binney St.

Dylan: CashStar — which was Maine’s top VC-funded startup, according to CB Insightshas been acquired for $175M by a fintech company based in California called Blackhawk Network. The company will retain its Portland and Boston offices, and Ben Kaplan will remain CEO. The startup had raised $50M from investors. If you’re wondering which Maine tech company you should be following next, it’s definitely Vets First Choice. More on that soon.

Lucy: Boston-based SyncThink is providing the University of Texas Longhorns football team with special high-tech goggles to help doctors quickly test players for symptoms of a concussion. While traditional tests can take up to a half hour, with the new goggles doctors can take as little as a minute to assess a player, giving teams a quick way to either begin treatment for an athlete or OK them to go back in the game. Our very own Brent Wistrom has the story for our sister publication Austin Inno. Read more: Texas Longhorns to Use VR Goggles to Test for Concussions



Lucy: Stealthy biotech company Torque Therapeutics has raised $21M from Flagship Pioneering and other investors, BBJ reported. According to a federal filing, the company has also moved into a new office in Kendall Square.

Dylan: Brainshark, a Waltham-based provider of sales enablement software, has hired Colleen Honan as its chief sales officer. She was most recently VP of worldwide sales at SiriusDecisions.

Lucy: MassMutual has named Nabil Hachem as its head of data engineering. Hachem, who has nearly four decades of data management, architecture and engineering experience, was most recently at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.

Lucy: Right after announcing Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood as a speaker, Forbes added a few musical guests to its Under 30 Summit, which runs Oct. 1-4 in Boston. Grammy award-winning artist Zedd (Anton Zaslavski), rapper Playboi Carti, singer-songwriter Skylar Grey and local Boston up-and-comer Forth Wanderers will perform at the Under 30 Music Festival on Oct. 1.

Dylan: It’s probably just because I’m not cool anymore, but I’ve never heard of any of those artists before. There’s one thing I do know about, and it’s that Boston Crypto is holding a panel on Initial Coin Offerings next Tuesday. The group is organized by Ash Egan of Converge and Kirill Bensonoff.

Lucy: Jeff Bussgang, general partner at Flybridge Capital, takes a cue from the announced Initial Coin Offering of one of the firm’s portfolio companies, Enigma, to share a few observations about the impact of ICOs on the venture capital industry: “A company that can successfully raise money in an ICO may never need venture capital again. Most of those companies will still require seed capital to assemble their team and fund a year or two of initial development and experiments.”

Wealthsimple:  Nnamdi Asomugha figured out early that the NFL doesn’t provide a future. Find out how the former NFL pro bowler and Mr. Kerry Washington transitioned from the NFL to have three films at Sundance at the same time. Read his Wealthsimple Money Diary here.

Got anonymous tips for BostInno? Contact us.

GM: Kyle Gross (KG) kgross@americaninno.com
Staff Writer: Dylan Martin dmartin@americaninno.com
Staff Writer: Lucia Maffei (Lucy) lmaffei@americaninno.com

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