Founder & Chief Executive Officer
After graduating from TED Ankara College Foundation Private High-School, Tolga studied Statistics and Computer Science at the Baskent University where he also competed as the team captain of “Baskent KNIGHTS” – one of the first Turkish National Football League teams. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree, Tolga worked at CE Technology and started his career as a Web Designer & Developer. In 2005, Tolga moved to San Diego, California to be a part of the “Palomar COMETS” football team and to receive his post-graduate education on Interactive Design & 3D Animation.
Tolga worked for Los Angeles based Spin Master Studios for 4 years where he co-designed “Tech Deck Live”, one of the first 3D web-based MMO games. Tolga designed digital applications, games, and marketing campaigns for brands like Ford™, Chevrolet™, Spotify™, MTV™, Cinemax™, Warner Bros™, Disney™, and Marriott Hotels™ while he was leading development projects at the Los Angeles-based Interactive Agencies Sabertooth and HYFN.
Tolga Onuk led the global user acquisitions initiative of the Electronic Arts™ Mobile where he designed and managed the promotional campaigns of Battlefield™, World Series of Poker™, Yahtzee™, Sims™, Simcity™, NBA Live™, Need For Speed™, Real Racing™, Fifa Soccer™, Madden NFL™, Tetris™ and Simpson’s Tapped Out™. Tolga Onuk also designed EA™ Mobile’s consumer-facing brand in 2012.
In 2013, Tolga started the mobile application development business at the Nclusive Creative Agency in Hollywood where he started his entrepreneurial journey. He co-founded and designed “Curbstand” iOS App which is the first SaaS solution specifically built for valet companies. Curbstand received $1.1M private foreign investment shortly after its MVP beta launch. In the meantime, Tolga opened Thunderbolt Studios’ office in Beverly Hills, California. In 2014, Tolga Onuk acquired another partnership with one of the first legal Cannabis delivery startups called “Grassp”. Tolga designed the brand and the product of Grassp medical cannabis delivery, communications, and logistics platform. Grassp also received $1.5M angel investment after its MVP beta launch.
Thunderbolt Studios built 12+ digital platforms since 2013 and the MVP applications designed by Tolga Onuk helped to raise $8.5M combined seed investments for multiple different ventures. In 2016, the acquisition of many different innovative startup projects evolved the business model of Thunderbolt Studios, and the company self-funded its own proprietary platform “Thunderbolt Capital” in order to streamline the software application development and startup incubation processes by taking advantage of the emerging equity-crowdfunding technologies.
In 2018, Tolga partnered with his old friend and colleague from Spin Master Studios Daniel Mitre – a gaming industry veteran, in order to transform Thunderbolt into a competitive gaming & esports venture. The new Thunderbolt Creative Digital Gaming company quickly gained attention and in 2019 it got acquired by a Toronto-based investment company called New Wave Holdings.
Currently, Tolga is working on reshaping the esports and competitive gaming landscape in North America by leading Thunderbolt CDG and New Wave Holdings as a Chief Executive Officer. He resides in West Hollywood, California.