Starting Eleven is revolutionizing fantasy soccer for fans around the world with its live daily platform, which they boast of as the world’s first for the sport.

Starting Eleven CEO and co-founder Teague Orgeman will present at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, February 20.

The company has its roots in a law office—prior to launching the company, Orgeman was a partner at a law firm and a self-described “long-time fantasy sports nerd”. Starting Eleven’s concept grew out of a conversation Orgeman had about why fantasy soccer hadn’t taken off the way other fantasy sports have.

“The genesis was a couple lawyers talking about this gap in the market,” Orgeman said.

Development on Starting Eleven’s platform began in 2017. At the time Orgeman was interviewed for this article, the company was nearing 40,000 downloads, a number Orgeman expected to surpass soon.

The way Starting Eleven functions is partly a response to the way people watch sports today, which Orgeman notes is not very passive. People watch on TV, but they Tweet and Facebook post and Snapchat each other about what happens as it happens; they participate actively in their experience. Starting Eleven brings this experience into the fantasy sports realm through features like allowing players to make real-time substitutions during gameplay, just as a real-world team manager would.

“You really create a new team every match day,” Orgeman said.

Starting Eleven had a five-person co-founding team with some additional developers. They started developing the platform in 2017. Orgeman noted there were three lawyers in the founding team, but he felt that high number was useful because the company has an international business model and user base that mirrors soccer’s international fan base.

“We not only deal with regulatory challenges in the United States… we deal with it all over the world,” Orgeman said.

Orgeman characterized the approach as both fortunate and careful during the business’s development. He said they don’t “break stuff” and rebuild it the way some young companies are told to—dramatic revision of their work is more of a challenge when working in multiple countries.

One of the company’s next challenges is adding more leagues, Orgeman noted.

“I’m just really excited about where we’re at,” Orgeman said. “We’re ready to grow.”

For more information on Starting Eleven, visit 1 Million Cups Fargo takes place each Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.

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Austin Gerth