Founder & Chief Executive Officer
After graduating from TED Ankara College Foundation Private High-School, Tolga studied Statistics and Computer Science at Baskent University, where he competed as the team captain of “Baskent KNIGHTS” – one of the first Turkish National Football League teams. Tolga was the team representative and co-founding member of the Turkish American Football Federation which was adopted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Turkish Republic. After graduating with double majors on science, Tolga worked at CE Technology in Ankara and started his professional career in digital technologies. In 2005, Tolga moved to San Diego to receive his post-graduate education on Interactive Design & 3D Animation and to continue playing football in California.
Tolga worked for Spin Master™ in Los Angeles for 4 years where he co-designed “Tech Deck™ Live”, one of the first 3D web-based MMO games. After his Spin Master experience, Tolga designed digital applications, games, and marketing campaigns for brands like Ford™, Chevrolet™, Spotify™, MTV™, Cinemax™, Warner Bros™, Disney™, and Marriott Hotels™ while leading design & development teams at the Los Angeles-based Interactive Agencies, Sabertooth and HYFN. Later on, Tolga Onuk led the global user acquisitions initiative at Electronic Arts Mobile where he designed and directed the promotional campaigns of the majority of the EA Mobile game titles including Battlefield™, Sims™, NBA Live™, Need For Speed™, Real Racing™, Fifa Soccer™, Madden NFL™, Tetris™ and Simpson’s Tapped Out™. Tolga Onuk also designed the EA Mobile consumer-facing brand in 2012.
In 2013, Tolga opened Thunderbolt’s office in Beverly Hills, California. He co-founded “Curbstand” and designed Curbstand’s web & mobile payment platform which is the first SaaS solution specifically built for valet companies. Curbstand received $1.1M private foreign investment shortly after its MVP launch. In 2014, Thunderbolt acquired another partnership with California’s first legal Cannabis delivery startup “Grassp”. Thunderbolt built Grassp’s web & mobile communications platform while Tolga was leading Grassp’s product and marketing initiatives. Similar to Curbstand, Grassp received $1.5M angel investment shortly after its MVP launch on September 2014.
Thunderbolt worked with 40+ startups, built 12 MVP applications and the company helped to raise $8.5M combined seed investments for various ventures.
In 2018, Thunderbolt became Thunderbolt Creative Digital Gaming and the company acquired by the Toronto-based New Wave eSports Corporation (Formerly Known as New Wave Holdings). As one of New Wave’s original founding team members, he led the company as the Chief-Executive until the company finalized a reverse merger to be listed at the Canadian Stock Exchange in order to become the world’s first publicly traded eSports investment company. (CSE:NWES)
Currently, Tolga is an investor of the New Wave eSports Corp. and he is advising Los Angeles-based tech startups. Tolga Onuk resides in West Hollywood, California.