Innovation

Kicking Goals in the Digital Age: Giovanni Bertoli’s Game-Changing Fusion of Football and Finance

Giovanni Bertoli’s Journey: Merging Football & Finance to Transform Sports Betting Tech

In a recent episode of “The Bright Founders Talk Podcast” from Temy, we were granted an enlightening look into the world of Giovanni Bertoli, the Co-Founder and CEO of Wall Street Football. A multifaceted entrepreneur, Bertoli’s resume boasts the co-founding of two successful businesses, a chairman position, and even mentorship roles for upcoming talents. 

Hosted by Chris, the discussion shed light on Bertoli’s unique approach to both business and life – highlighting his passion for sports and its role in his daily routine. Notably, Bertoli dispels common misconceptions about starting a business in Italy, emphasizing the richness of talent and the advantages of a global perspective. 

Join us as we delve deeper into the journey and insights of a man who seamlessly merges the realms of sports and entrepreneurship.

Giovanni Bertoli's Journey: Merging Football & Finance to Transform Sports Betting Tech
Giovanni Bertoli: The Italian Renaissance in Business and the Global Playground

Ever had that moment where your name gets hilariously butchered at an international conference? Giovanni Bertoli has. In a laugh-out-loud moment with Chris, he recounted how names, especially Italian ones, often get tangled in translation. “Everywhere I go in the world, they say Bergdahl. So now I even introduce myself as Bertolli when I’m abroad,” he chuckled.

When asked about his favorite non-tech way to relax, Giovanni’s eyes lit up. It’s all about sports for this business magnate. From tennis to paddle football and windsurfing, he’s game. Giovanni believes in the meditative power of sports, emphasizing how it’s one of the only ways your mind is completely in the moment. “It’s like a form of meditation,” he mused. And let’s be real, who needs a PlayStation at Google when you can challenge someone to a game of table tennis?

Sports, it’s a form of meditation. Your mind is 100% focused

But beyond the serve and volley, when business takes center stage, Giovanni paints a vibrant picture of Italy. While naysayers might discourage starting a business in the homeland of pizza and Pavarotti, Giovanni sees Italy in a different light. It’s teeming with talent, enriched by a diaspora of smart minds, and while bureaucracy might be a bit chunky, it doesn’t faze those surrounded by a robust support system. Being based in Italy isn’t a limiting factor; in fact, it’s an opportunity to tap into the global market while enjoying the best cappuccino on a Roman terrace.

Giovanni Unplugged: The Bridge Between London, Google, and Italian Entrepreneurship

Giovanni Bertoli, with his vibrant journey across continents and sectors, threw light on some lesser-known aspects of Italy’s tech scene. With many markets in Italy yet to shift to technology, Giovanni believes there’s immense potential for growth. “There’s still a lot to do in Italy. The venture capital industry might be a bit behind, but that just means it can now come fresh and new.” He remarked, hinting at the untapped promise the Italian startup ecosystem holds.

There’s still a lot to do in Italy. The venture capital industry might be a bit behind, but that just means it can now come fresh and new

It was interesting to delve deeper into Giovanni’s academic choices and understand how they shaped his entrepreneurial path. At university, his choice of economics wasn’t born out of clarity, but out of curiosity. “I was very undecided,” he admitted. Economics, for him, provided a buffet of various disciplines, from statistics to law to politics. This holistic education opened doors and eventually led him to London for a master’s in regulation. The decision to study abroad? It was a combination of seeking cooler job prospects and a thirst for understanding the intricate dance between big tech giants like Google and legal regulations.

His time at LSE in London was transformative, but not just academically. While the connections he made during this period may not directly influence his current venture, they offered insights into different cultures and global perspectives. More than the knowledge acquired from books, it was about the experiences and the broadening of horizons. The subsequent stint at Google post his master’s was like getting a backstage pass to the tech world’s most significant gig. It equipped him with a wealth of knowledge and set the stage for his entrepreneurial debut. And although the IELTS might have been a stepping stone to London’s classrooms, Giovanni believes real learning happens when you’re seated across a table, conversing and exchanging ideas.

From Google’s Halls to the Football Field: Giovanni’s Visionary Leap into Entrepreneurship

Giovanni’s journey, before making waves in the tech world, is marked by surprising turns and illuminating choices. “I worked in a law firm,” he recalls, almost wistfully, “just to see if law was my calling. Then I moved to a television production company.” Giovanni’s experiences in varied fields granted him a diverse set of insights. But it was in these roles he recognized a pattern: the lack of structure and clear direction. This eventually led him to Google. “What I saw differently in Google is really the seeing your career path and having the total freedom of choosing a lot of your projects,” Giovanni noted.

Many see Google as the zenith, the ultimate career destination. But was it? Giovanni chuckled, “Google at this stage is so big. My organization? Super cool.” He recounts his experiences with unmistakable fondness, from his impactful projects to the camaraderie among his colleagues. His time there was undoubtedly prosperous, becoming a managerial figure for his team. But what prompted him to leave such a coveted position? “It was hard, but the startup I founded called to me. It was impossible to balance both,” he revealed.

“When I started, it was Wall Street Football,” Giovanni shares, unveiling the genesis of his entrepreneurial streak. Inspired by a fantasy football game he’d modified with friends, the idea evolved into a full-blown venture. The concept? A financial market for trading football players based on their on-field performance. It was groundbreaking, and Giovanni’s passion for it is palpable. “From that game, I took the idea, and I wanted to make a company out of it,” he said. His ambitious project didn’t stop there; Wall Street Football later acquired MRC Bombur, with Giovanni ascending to the chairman role. “Our mission,” he asserts, “is to provide football fans with a super-app. News, scores, statistics, games – it’s all there. And we reward them for their passion.”

I worked in diverse fields, trying to find my path. But what I truly wanted was the freedom to choose my projects, and that’s what I found in Google

Blurring the Lines: Giovanni Dives Deep Into Wall Street Football

Football, finance, and future bets—three pillars of Giovanni’s unique venture, Wall Street Football. The company’s name might seem a curious juxtaposition of finance and sport, but its origin story, as Giovanni candidly reveals, intertwines his fervent passion for football with his grounding in economics. “The name came from that moment, when we found that the company… might have been a financial market,” he mused. But complexities arose, leading to a strategic pivot from a solely financial play to embracing media and sports betting sectors.

Their secret sauce? A proprietary forecasting algorithm. It churns out probabilities for player actions, covering everything from shots to cross-passes, in real-time, providing fresh betting opportunities. “For all football players of all the teams of 30 competitions worldwide… we give this to bookmakers, so that they now offer these new types of bets,” Giovanni elucidated. But it’s not just the widespread leagues, encompassing countries like Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico that set Wall Street Football apart. There’s a distinct plan on the horizon. “The focus for the next six months to one year will be on expanding the market type… the next step… will be scalability in terms of sports,” Giovanni forecasted.

The focus for the next six months to one year will be on expanding the market type… the next step… will be scalability in terms of sports

When asked about the kind of company Giovanni wanted to build and the partners he wanted by his side, his philosophy was both pragmatic and visionary. “Both, but mostly complement me,” he said on his preference for co-founders. Believing strongly in delegation, Giovanni’s ideal teammate is not just someone technically sound but also a leader in their right. A curious nugget? If there’s a light-hearted way to get on Giovanni’s good side, being an AS Roma fan doesn’t hurt. Reflecting on a hypothetical CEO switch, Giovanni said, “Out of pure curiosity, [running a football club] is something that would interest me.”

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