In a nutshell: Stadeo is a highly interactive digital sports bar: a video/audio venue that lets fans socialize, banter and play among themselves and with pundits.

Fandom fills our human need for companionship and sense of belonging, it’s tribalism in modern form. Yet modern media is alienating, passive and impersonal. Stadeo reunites fans with their “tribe” in a fun, interactive way – a place where people know your name and you can rejoice and/or commiserate before and after games.


Amar: Claudio is someone that is a serial entrepreneur, even when I knew him in the corporate and finance world. He is always thinking out of the box and it’s great to see him follow his passion in football, creating a fan space in the metaverse. He is also a fellow AC Milan supporter! What more can I say?!


Amar: Can you tell us about your background and how you became a founder?


Claudio: I came to the US at the age of fifteen to study English, and thanks to soccer I was able to go to college at sixteen and play National Collegiate Atheletic Association Division I. By twenty three I had graduated from Stanford and Columbia Law, but it was clear to me that I couldn’t possibly be a corporate attorney and feel fulfilled. So I joined McKinsey (essentially my ‘business bootcamp’), followed by Bloomberg where I helped create innovative businesses within a large, successful enterprise. Soon after being named COO of a $1B business unit, I had the opportunity to become a full-time entrepreneur when the corporate VC of a top-three global sports brand offered to lead the Series A funding round in the soccer brand that I had started in my spare time. I didn’t think about it twice (my wife did!), and made the jump. Seven years later, that startup (www.storelli.com) is now a group of three companies, and I have since co-founded two additional businesses that are more digitally focused.


Amar: What do you most enjoy about being an entrepreneur?


Claudio: Since childhood, I always gravitated towards initiatives that enabled me to create and lead. What drives me is the opportunity to lead groups of smart people into solving really hard problems. I love team building and problem solving, and love the rush of doing something that is extremely risky.


Amar: What keeps you motivated?


Claudio: In good times and bad, and there are many lows in the lifecycle of a startup, I always remind myself to enjoy the journey. Envisioning the end-goal is motivating, but life is too short not to savor the time you spend building, the issues you face, the struggle. 


Amar: What do you worry about when it comes to work?


Claudio: It’s so easy to get distracted. I keep asking myself if I am focusing on the right problems. I would rather do one thing right then try to do too many poorly.


Amar: What’s your biggest business learning?


Claudio: A good idea is not necessarily a good business. 


Amar: What advice would you give new and aspiring entrepreneurs?


Claudio: Pick where you want to play and be sure it’s a good business before you decide how to execute. It’s much easier to be successful if you execute moderately well in a big, growing and profitable space vs. being the best in a very difficult market. I learned this the hard way with my first start-up, even though ultimately we got it to profitability.


Amar: Anything else to add when it comes to your experiences as a founder?


Claudio: Prepare yourself mentally for the lows – they will inevitably come, even if things go smoothly at first. If you expect the worst, when bad stuff happens it will be a lot easier to be mentally prepared for it.


Amar: Who has inspired you through your journey and why?


Claudio: When I left Italy at the age of fifteen, my father left me at the airport with a sentence in Latin: quisque artifex fortunae suae est. It means ‘everyone is the maker of his/her own destiny’. At times, when failure stares at you in the face, it’s easy to think “just go back to the corporate world and get your paycheck like 99% of people, why are you doing this to yourself?!”. But my father’s inspiration sticks with me: it’s up to me to construct the life I want to live, and doing anything different would mean betraying myself.  


Amar: Have there been any positives to come out of the upheaval of the last two years for you or your business?


Claudio: Covid almost killed the group of companies that I built after many personal sacrifices over years. Yet, sometimes challenges are truly opportunities. Covid forced us to revisit everything we did, it spurred us on to become more efficient and cut costs to the bone. Two years later, the company magically ran with a lot fewer expenses and it turned stably profitable. Constraints in time and resources spur creativity and can sometimes be a blessing in disguise.


Amar: Who would play you in a film of your life?


Claudio: Ryan Reynolds, with an Italian accent – tall, handsome, super goofy. I am definitely tall and super goofy!


For more information on Stadeo, visit www.stadeo.com.  To find out more about how Argella advises and advances growing tech businesses, visit www.argella.co.uk.

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