Episode 15: Hunter Swensson, COO and Co-Founder at Paranoid Fan


Hunter discusses his all of his experiences from competing as a professional eSports player to starting his company Paranoid Fan

Today’s episode kicks off our special 3-part sports-tech series, just in time for the Olympics. Leading off is Hunter Swensson, Founder and COO at Paranoid Fan.

Paranoid Fan is a social mapping app that helps fans navigate through their game-day experience, and Hunter has a super interesting journey, being a professional sports athlete where his corporate sponsors included Toyota, and he also worked for ESPN in Texas.

In the interview, we get into a lot, from the ups and downs of founding a company, getting customers at Paranoid Fan, building their company in Dallas… and you’ll find out about who “old man makowski” is.

One Key lesson to highlight: take what you learn from your successes and apply it to your future endeavors (in Hunter’s case, his halo esports dominance has helped him in his entrepreneurial journey).

Hunter is a hungry entrepreneur, it was inspiring chatting with him – Thank you to Michael Keoni DeFranco for connecting us, and please enjoy the conversation with Hunter Swensson.


Startups and Companies Mentioned




Merril Lynch



Notable People Mentioned

Ken Rosenthal

Jonah Keri

Agustin Gonzalez

Venture Capital Firms Mentioned


Y Combinator

Sports Teams Mentioned

Atlanta Falcons

Oregon Ducks

Dallas Stars

Video Games Mentioned


Ol’ Man Makowski (Hunter Swensson) Halo Footage


2:50 – Elevator pitch for Hunter’s company Paranoid Fan

4:18 – UI similarities between Waze and Paranoid Fan

6:07 – Hunter’s time as a professional eSports player

11:27 – Getting corporate sponsors for eSports

15:01 – Moving on from eSports to ESPN

16:37 – The inspiration behind Paranoid Fan

19:12 – The steps taken to create Paranoid Fan

23:00 – The importance of good partners

24:30 – How Hunter attracted early investors

27:21 – Hunter’s customer acquisition strategy

31:08 – How Paranoid Fan keeps users coming back

35:12 – Partnering with the Atlanta Falcons and Oregon Ducks

36:40 – Paranoid Fan’s business plan

40:35 – Paranoid Fan competitors

43:19 – How users can update information on the app

45:28 – What Hunter is most looking forward to for Paranoid Fan

49:19 – Takeaways from the Techstar program

52:15 – Rapid Fire Q&A – One thing that you would want to do in Hawaii, top tools or resources for entrepreneurs, favorite sports team, who inspires you, final tips for entrepreneurs