Startups May 27, 2020

Ignite Podcast – Epsiode 03 – Ferdinand Gutierrez – CEO Ampverse – You Gotta Be Stronger than the Punch

Episode Summary

In this Ignite Podcast episode, Michael Waitze is joined by Ferdinand Gutierrez, the CEO of gaming entertainment startup Ampverse. In this episode, Michael and Ferdinand talked about the most important factor in the success of an early-stage venture, the startup mindset, and the future of Ampverse. 

The key to a startup’s success

Michael started off the podcast with a hard-hitting question about the most important factor to the success of an early startup.

Ferdinand clinched back with a straight forward answer: “It’s the mentality. You need to be stronger than the punch.” 

The startup journey is difficult and you need to be psychologically and physically strong to survive the initial pushbacks, he explained. 

The other important factor is to validate your ideas fast. “You need to try to get to the business as quickly as you can.” This means finding out early whether your ideas are feasible or not, he told Michael.  

This is because as long as startups continue to test with real users and learn about what they are doing, they can continue to figure out what users want and improve their products accordingly. 

This was also the case when Ampverse first started out. As Ferdinand puts it: “We didn’t have any technology. We just needed to see if there’s an appetite for what we’re doing.” 

For Ampverse, the answer was a resounding “yes,” and the rest is history. 

Having the startup mindset

For Ferdinand, you know when you have a startup mindset when you find it hard to ignore the pull towards starting your own business, even if you have a stable job. 

“I really love the start of businesses. I love thinking about what’s out there and trying to conquer a goal together with a team,” he reflected.

The future of Ampverse

Ferdinand’s vision for Ampverse is for it to be the biggest and brightest gaming entertainment company in Southeast Asia. 

While he is confident quality content will be the backbone of the business, he admits that the Ampverse team still figuring out whether a business pivot is necessary for them to achieve this goal. 

Currently, Ampverse specialises in connecting brands with content creators, as well as helping streamers become more brand-friendly without losing their authenticity. 

Nevertheless, the company has started new vertices, such as investing in an esports team to see if the venture is scalable. 

Ferdinand and his team at Ampverse are now in the process of recalibrating their company direction. 

“What are the bigger holes that we can plug if we become another type of business?” Ferdinand wondered. “Answering this question will be key to figuring out the future of Ampverse.” 

Tune in to this Ignite podcast episode to hear more about Ampverse, Southeast Asia’s gaming industry, and how you can improve your early-stage startup. 


Michael has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective.

Michael I. Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.

Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth.

After more than 20 years in Tokyo, Michael moved to Southeast Asia to get more involved in the Private Equity and Venture Capital business and invest his own capital.

Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael has raised capital and advised some of the most famous startups in the region.

Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia, while building the biggest and fastest growing listener base in the region. His flagship website,, has listeners in over 100 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.


Former CEO of Havas Media with over 20 years’ experience leading companies across Southeast Asia, managing top media agencies: Universal McCann, Mindshare, New Media and Ogilvy. Prior background includes having been the former Head of Sales and Marketing for Twitch in Southeast Asia, as well as having founded and exited gaming company, Sandbox Global.

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