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Entrepreneur offering stake in company to investor that can beat him in the ring – literally

Some 12 years after he founded chessboxing, lepe Rubingh is offering investors a "blood and sweat equity" stake in his company if they can defeat him in the ring – by either knock out or check mate.
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After founding the sport in 2003, Rubingh formed CBG two years ago to establish a professional global league. 

The popularity of chessboxing continues to rise as increasing numbers trial the sport’s unique blend of mental and physical challenges. A chessboxing fight consists of up to 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing. Competitors have a maximum total of nine minutes for each discipline.

A fight can be won by knocking an opponent out in the ring, via a checkmate in chess, by a judge’s decision, or if a competitor exceeds their chess time limit.

“Unlike most other sports, chess boxing requires both adrenalin and concentration, it takes nerves and muscles of steel,” said Rubingh. “The first rule of chessboxing is control yourself before your opponent does.”

Buoyed by the successful staging of sold-out world championship events in Moscow and Berlin, he’s been looking for investors to help fund the sport’s continued growth.

“Chessboxing produces a unique form of intelligent entertainment,” said Rubingh. “The global success of the Ultimate Fighting Championship shows the potential if you create the right sport – and deliver it to the right audience.”

And unlike most entrepreneurs, Rubingh is willing to put his gloves where his wallet is and offer interested parties a unique investment opportunity. In addition to his latest Seedrs campaign, he’s proposing a “blood and sweat equity bout” where investors can fight for a share in his company by challenging the sport’s creator in the chessboxing ring.

However, investors need to be sure they’re up to par given that a loss comes with quite a hefty price. The loser of a”blood and sweat equity” match will face a compulsory investment of €38,000 in the firm – the equivalent to a one percent holding.

“If I’m beaten fair and square in the ring, I’ll hand over one percent of my company – no questions asked,” said Rubingh. “But I want to warn interested investors they’ll need deep pockets. If I win – and I normally do – they’ll have to have their cheque book ready as they’ll have to agree to invest €50,000.

“As in all walks of life, there’s always a price tag attached to winning – and losing.”

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is the deputy editor of Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

Real Business