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Battlesnake, a Startup that Turns Learning Programming into an eSport, Lands $1.5 Million in Funding

Battlesnake, a Startup that Turns Learning Programming into an eSport, Lands $1.5 Million in Funding

Technology Sector Software Gaming AR/VR Product Launch

Battlesnake Launches Fall League in time for Back to School and Back to Office

Battlesnake, a company with the mission to make it fun and accessible for anyone to be a better programmer, announced $1.5 million (US dollars) in funding to build on the platform that has grown from a grass roots recruiting platform into a programming game and competition that attracts thousands of developers to have fun and learn new skills. Funding was led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from Liquid 2, Ascend, 200 OK, and notable angel investors including Jason Warner (former CTO GitHub) and Chris Aniszczyk (CTO Linux Foundation).

“Whether you program at school or on the job, there comes a point where every developer wants to step outside their comfort zone and learn something new. Battlesnake makes that process fun – you can play it with your co-workers or with developers across the globe, using whatever language and technologies you want to,” commented founder and CEO, Brad Van Vugt.

Started in 2015 as a developer recruiting event in the Pacific Northwest, by 2019 the flagship Battlesnake Tournament in Victoria drew 1,500 participants and spectators. Realizing they were onto something Founders Brad Van Vugt, Noah Warder, and Chris Hoefgen rapidly expanded scope, building a global online presence that attracts thousands of developers and spectators monthly.

In 2020, Battlesnake went fully online and started drawing crowds similar to gaming and eSports events, offering programmers who were working from home an easy way to connect with each other, build programming experience, and compete for prizes. The team expanded to work with companies and engineering managers directly in 2020.

“We first found out about Battlesnake from our own developers who were having so much fun learning and competing. It’s a friendly, welcoming, and challenging way to build real programming experience both inside the company and in the broader developer community. We are excited to work with Battlesnake in this next stage of growth!" said Chelsea Stumm, Program Manager, AWS. AWS hosted a tournament for all their North American Interns in 2021.

Battlesnake is for developers of all skill levels looking to experiment, practice, and learn new technologies. Battlesnake can be played using any programming language, any tech stack, and any cloud provider. This makes it uniquely open-ended for experienced developers looking to learn new skills or technologies. Inspired by popular gaming platforms like Roblox and Minecraft, Battlesnake strives to make programming an enjoyable and entertaining experience for everyone.

Fall League Details

Battlesnake Fall League 2021 ( kicks off on September 24th and runs until November 20th. Developers from all over the world will be competing for limited edition rewards and cash prizes. To register, visit

About Battlesnake

Battlesnake offers developers the ability to learn new skills and have fun in a gaming environment. More than 10,000 developers have played Battlesnake, on their own and in corporate teams.

Additional Info

Media Contact : Erika Shaffer

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