Episode 126 - Rustin Sotoodeh : Elevate The Ideas That Work

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Rustin Sotoodeh is the co-founder of E-Coliseum, the world’s first Esports gym. At there pop-up shop in Downtown Los Angeles, they were stocked with some of the best equipment on the market. Customers paid a monthly membership that allowed them to drop in and play at anytime. On top of that, they held tournaments with cash giveaways, had professional gamers playing at their location and even had Kickstradomis customize Nike Air Force 1’s on the spot. As they look to open up a permanent location in LA this summer, they promise it will be an experience you won’t forget.

Born & raised in Tustin, CA, soccer and video games were two of his earliest passions. Entrepreneurship has ran in his blood since he was a child. In elementary school, he charged kids to play his GameCube. In middle school, he sold t-shirts out of his locker and throughout high school / college years, he was flipping high-end sneakers. He attended the University of Southern California where he majored in Business Administration and minored in Game Entrepreneurship.

Throughout his senior year he and his co-founder Kha Lu started putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. By the time they graduated in the Spring of 2018, they were ready to launch their 2 month pop-up shop. Filled withDell’s Alienware computers, Vertagear gaming chairsCooler Master headsetsViewSonic Monitors, this was and will be the place to be to connect with people and be a gamer.

In this episode he discusses the benefits of meditating for 100 days in a row, crossing off 3 tasks a day, making the impossible possible, finding our ‘zone of genius’ and why we should elevate the ideas that work.

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Podcast Outline (Time Markers For Audio Version Only)

  • Since the beginning of 2019: Completed the LA Marathon in 4 hours & 34 minutes, 100+ days of meditating & journaling, 86+ days being sober, 100 pullups every Sunday for the past 10 weeks. (5:35)

  • Focusing on 1-3 Wins A Day (14:35)

  • Born/raised in Tustin, CA. Soccer and video games were two of his earliest passions (16:05)

  • His father taught him how to handle/react to situations, how to communicate with people and “if you can’t get through the door, try the window” (21:15)

  • Soccer was everything his family watched. Every Sunday, all the uncles/cousins would get together to play (24:35)

  • Had the entrepreneur itch since he was young. Elementary school charged kids to play his gamecube, middle school had a t-shirt company & would flip tech products on craigslist (25:20)

  • Mother was an interior designer, father was an real estate, small business & contractual attorney. Parents had moved to the US from Iran (28:30)

  • Attended University of Southern California (USC) and majored in Business Administration, minor in Game Entrepreneurship (34:30)

  • If you had asked Rustin on his first day of college what his plan was after school he would’ve said investment banking because that is where you make a lot of $$$ (38:45)

  • Sold high-end sneakers to an adjutant professor in an entrepreneurship class which then led to an internship with his company Grab Games,   virtual / augmented reality company (39:30)

  • Reselling sneakers before the wave came (41:05)

  • With money from flipping shoes, winning $10k from USC’s New Venture Seed Competition & raises money from Hersch Interactive Group, Rustin & co-founder Kha Lu launch E-Coliseum (48:25)

  • Inspired by gaming tournaments they held in other spaces, they came up with E-Coliseum, The world’s first ESports Gym (49:45)

  • Spring of 2018, pop-up shop launches in Downtown LA with the best equipment in the industry. Dell’s Alienware computers, Vertagear gaming chairs, cooler master surround sound headsets, viewsonic monitors (61:10)

  • Connecting with the A$AP Mob (62:40)

  • Creating a membership program where people paid $40/month and could drop in to play at anytime (66:00) Locking in the first member (72:20)

  • Cash prize giveaways, professional gamers streaming live from the venue, Kickstradomis customized Air Force 1’s (74:50)

  • Permanent E-Coliseum location to launch in LA sometime in Summer of 2019 (78:10)

  • The Esports industry in the next 3-5 years. Teams will own stadiums and will travel international to play other teams (80:10)

  • Connecting with Nike, Co-Founder of Riot Games / Co-creator of League of Legends Marl Marol, presenting to Chief Design officer at LCS Arena (88:40)

  • If money were no issue, Rustin would own real estate in all different regions of the world (86:45)

  • Living Outside Of The Boundaries Like Virgil Abloh (95:10)

  • Success to Rustin is proving to himself that he can create something that people find value in  (96:20)

  • Ask Bobbay any 1 question: Would you rather be rich or famous? (98:55)

  • Where to find Rustin + E-Coliseum on social media

  • Best advice for finding a passion/purpose (108:45)

    • Find your ‘zone of genius’