A Slice on Shail Mehta, Co-Founder and CEO of Last Gameboard
Everyone loves a good game; whether it’s a sports game, video game or tabletop game, you’re bound to find something you like and root for. Tabletop games in particular are known to bring people together and develop friendships over a concept that is simple to learn and easy to play. However, many people dislike gameboards and find their analog playing style to be slow and boring.
Enter Shail Mehta’s Last Gameboard. This is the last gameboard you’ll ever need and it will capture your attention with every playthrough. The board acts as a complete gaming system that allows users to play with anyone, anywhere. You can also use any game piece to enhance your playing experience thanks to the board’s innovative technology that learns to track game pieces across the board. Players can use mini game pieces, place a real card, or roll real dice in order to enhance their gameplay. Players can also do all of this digitally with a companion app that connects to the board and extends play to the palm of their hand.
When asked what made Mehta want to disrupt the board game industry, she laughed and said, “I don’t know, there was never really one big moment. It’s a lot of little moments.” As a lifelong tabletop gamer, Mehta favors games like Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and cites these games as her inspiration for inventing the Last Gameboard.
“We have a bold mission at Gameboard that’s not just tech and not just gaming, but the future of technology will live at this intersection of digital and physical.” Mehta wants to harness this intersection and build a community through gaming and technology that fosters meaningful connections. In order to do that, you need both analog and digital platforms; one is not enough. “You’re missing the other half of who we are as a society. And that’s what Gameboard is, it’s a hybrid of both worlds.”
Last Gameboard raised funding through Kickstart and closed their seed round raising $4 million with Riot Games and Venture City. Their Kickstarter amassed a 9,000 person waitlist and they’ve been very transparent with their backers. “I think [transparency] fosters trust and when you have trust in someone, especially when it’s something new from an investor, creator, or a consumer, when you have trust in a product that is how you build a true startup. Create that trust even if it’s 10 people, you make sure that they trust you.”
The biggest obstacle Last Gameboard has faced is supply chain shortages that are affecting big players like Playstation and Xbox. “It’s in flux and we’re small potatoes. Xbox and PlayStation are having issues getting their console out so we’re really small compared to them so that’s always on the forefront of our mind just how to navigate that. I think our advantage is we are small so we kind of get to slide under the radar a little bit.”
Success isn’t about the revenue for Mehta, it’s about how many people are playing games on Last Gameboard and how meaningful the game is in regards to engagement. Is the player encouraging play? Are they repeating a certain type of game or are they exploring the different opinions? By creating meaningful connections and engagements in the community, Last Gameboard can become a household gaming system that holds the key to innovative tabletop gaming.
Shail Mehta studied Political Science at the University Colorado of Boulder before entering the workforce in finance. She then became an entrepreneur when co-founding Last Gameboard in 2018. Connect with Mehta on LinkedIn.