Georgetown Students Start Video Game Tutoring Company
Microcoaching, an on-demand video game coaching platform founded by Emre Ruhi (GRD ’17) and Dan Tasch (GRD ’17), connects gamers seeking to improve their skills with more experienced players to minimize frustration and maximize enjoyment.
Both Ruhi and Tasch have possessed a passion for gaming since high school. After meeting in the “Startup Factory” course at the McDonough School of Business in March 2016, the two decided to turn it into a business venture.
Ruhi said that Microcoaching was based on the value of interplayer cooperation, with the startup attempting to create a network for gamers.
“I found that being able to ask someone who’s played the game a lot was super effective and extremely useful,” Ruhi said. “Microcoaching is trying to spread that beyond people who already have that network.”
Ruhi noted the importance of both providing experts with a platform to share their knowledge and helping less experienced players cope with the frustration of being stuck.
“What we’re trying to do is keep them fun and make them more fun by removing kind of a pain point for players who are either getting into a game or want to get to the next level of competition,” Ruhi said.
Both founders credited Georgetown and its resources, from the “Startup Factory” course to the Summer Launch Program run by StartupHoyas to the support from professors and mentors as crucial to their success. To this day, they continue to visit the “Chalk Talks” held by Georgetown’s entrepreneurs-in-residence.
“The professors and the entrepreneurs-in-residence — all of them have been so welcoming, and any, time we needed any advance, we could email one of them,” Tasch said.
Tasch further noted the process of starting a business is very complex and highlighted the importance of having resources that can provide extensive guidance.
“There are so many areas you have to fill, no matter what, when you are starting a business, and there’s no way you’re going to know it all,” Tasch said. “So, when you have these resources here at Georgetown that really have the experience and expertise to guide you, it’s just invaluable.”
According to Ruhi, their connections with fellow MBA peers have helped them understand certain aspects of business in which they had no previous expertise.
“It’s really nice to have such a diverse background of your peers where I can go to someone who used to be a CPA and say, ‘Hey, does our accounting stuff look right?’” Ruhi said.
Ruhi said a challenge they faced was legitimizing the video game industry in an East Coast market where gaming is less prominent.
“A video game startup in D.C. is a rare kind of venture, so, every time we spoke or we would go to a pitch competition or meet with advisors or mentors, we would have to start from the very beginning and let them know how big the video game industry actually is, that it’s a gigantic market,” Ruhi said.
Tasch said in the future, he and Ruhi hope to expand the scope of their business beyond the current platforms they serve and make Microcoaching even more convenient to use.
“Right now, we’re focused on PC games, but we would love to move into mobile, PlayStation, Xbox and all those other consoles and make Microcoaching available not only through our website but while you’re playing the game,” Tasch said.
Tasch and Ruhi are currently looking into the possibility of hiring Georgetown students as employees and encourage anyone with interests in entrepreneurship, technology or gaming to reach out to them.
“We know that there is skill and ability right here where we are,” Ruhi said. “We want to stay close to home when it comes to building the company.”