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Ohio University to hold Business of Games Summit Sept. 14

Monday, August 7 2017 12:00am

Exponential Founder Josh Hong, MultiVarious Games CEO Chris Volpe to speak

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ATHENS, Ohio (July 27, 2017) Ohio University’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CE), a partnership between the College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, along with the Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab, a part of the Scripps College of Communication, will host a Business of Games Summit on the main campus of Ohio University in Athens on Thursday, Sept. 14. The summit will be a confluence of students, educators, entrepreneurs, technologists and industry participants who are actively involved in or want to know more about “the business of digital games and eSports.”

“The digital game and eSport industry is experiencing explosive growth worldwide,” said Paul Mass, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio University and conference organizer. “We believe that Ohio University, the state of Ohio, and other parts of the Midwest can be home to innovation, talented entrepreneurs, and investment-worthy new business which contributes to this growth.”

While many industry conferences focus on technology and development of games, this conference will focus on the business of games and will present speakers and panels focusing on the perspectives of young entrepreneurs, investors, developers, publishers, players and spectators.

“We are entering the GRID Lab’s twelfth year this fall, and each we year we find there are more and more students interested in game development,” said John Bowditch, director of the GRID Lab. “While graduates receive employment opportunities all over the country, more graduates are interested in creating their own game development startup right here in Ohio.”

The keynote speech from Joshua Hong, founder and general partner of Exponential, will focus on what it means to be a startup entrepreneur in the online game industry, the entrepreneurial mindset required to be successful, how to attract and assess opportunities and turn them into results, and why Ohio and the Midwest can be one of the nation’s epicenters of startup revolution in the business.

“The state of Ohio is a perfect place for new and existing game companies to set up shop,” Bowditch said. “With a high quality of living, exceptional universities, and an expansive entrepreneurial ecosystem forming throughout the state, Ohio is a prime location for future startups.”

Daria Fluor-Scacchi, production manager at ILMxLAB, will also speak on “Women in the Digital Game and eSports Industries.” This segment will explore the current state of female participation in the digital game industry and the existing opportunities of working in the field.

Panel topics include “A Developer’s Roadmap,” which seeks to help young developers or game creators who may want to monetize their art as well as explain how the game publishing business works; and “Digital Games as Spectator Sport,” which will focus on the phenomena that are eSport competitions and the business opportunities driven by the public’s growing appetite for watching these events.

The Ohio Business of Games Case Competition, open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled for the Fall 2017-2018 semester, is also planned. Students may compete as individuals or in teams of up to six members. Students/teams from other universities are welcomed. Ohio University wants to host an eSport event in conjunction with next year’s Business of Games Summit in Fall 2018. Competitors are invited to propose the event. A one-page Word document outlining the team’s event title, venue, game(s), tournament format, marketing plan and other pertinent details should be sent to Paul Benedict at by 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7. Finalists will be announced the following day and will present their event concepts at the Summit on Sept. 14.

Prizes include, but are not limited to, $100 VISA cards, a Unity subscription license, and a trip to the GDEX conference in Columbus Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.

The summit will take place in Baker Center Ballroom and will be followed by a reception and open house from 6 to 8 p.m. in the GRID Lab, located on the second floor of Scripps Hall.

Admission to the summit is free, but registration is recommended. For more information on the Ohio University Business of Games Summit or to register, visit