Two SMU teams were among the five student firms selected to present their concepts in McCord Auditorium Monday, Nov. 16. The students competed for the 2015 regional Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, sponsored by the international Entrepreneurs’ Organization. The GSEA is a global competition for student entrepreneurs who actively run a business.
Both SMU teams are past winners of the University’s Big iDeas Pitch Contest. Eddie Allegra, Miguel Quimbar, Jack Reynolds and BioLum Sciences won in 2014 with their smartphone-based asthma detection system. The Fiddler rooftop wind turbine designed by Jonah Kirby, Cameron Buller, Alec Siems, Brendan Celii and Luke Oglesbee came up victorious in the 2015 competition.
But Allegra, who has a personal history of living with asthma, hasn’t let the accolades obscure a higher purpose: “I want someone to come up to me and tell me how much better their life is because of what I’ve done,” he tells Myles Taylor of SMU News in this video.
The SMU teams will demonstrate two distinct creations: Hymn of the Sands, an action-adventure whose story draws on Egyptian mythology; and the viral hit Kraven Manor, a horror-based puzzle game.
Joining the Guildhall groups at the invitation-only event will be teams from USC, Drexel, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Utah, UC-Santa Cruz, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the DigiPen Institute, and UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA).
The competitors will demonstrate their best projects running exclusively on Intel® graphics platforms, and a panel of industry luminaries will select those that demonstrate the best gameplay and the best visual quality.
Prizes will be awarded based on innovation in gameplay, game performance, immersiveness, art style, entertainment value, and quality in rendering, character design and user interface. In addition, Intel® will conduct live polling of the audience and display the results in real time as input to the judging panel.
The programs represented by the winning projects will each receive a $10,000 hardware grant from Intel®.
The IGC finalists – six nonprofessional and six professional teams – are eligible for more than $350,000 in prizes and scholarships. The winners will be announced Feb. 19 at the AIAS’ D.I.C.E.™ (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit at the Red Rock Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Hosting the awards ceremony is Adam Sessler, host of G4’s “X-Play” and editor-in-chief of games content for G4tv.com.
All 12 finalists will have the opportunity to pursue potential commercial avenues for their games while at D.I.C.E. AIAS is arranging face-to-face meetings between the finalists and video game executives from publishers and developers such as Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Microsoft, NAMCO/Bandai, THQ, Ubisoft and others.
Due to overwhelming interest, organizers of the 2009 Indie Game Challenge – including The Guildhall at SMU – have announced that the entry deadline has been extended from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31, 2009.
Amateur and professional video game developers will compete for almost $300,000 in prizes and scholarships, including a $50,000 scholarship to the Guildhall. They will also get a chance to present their games to top publishers. Their pitch videos will be broadcast on GameStop.com and GameStop TV, where they will be seen by millions of gamers and be eligible for additional prize money and a special People’s Choice Award.
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and GameStop join the Guildhall as sponsors of the contest, which launched July 14. GameStop customers have seen the distinctive “Your Game Here” boxes and entry cards in stores throughout the summer.
New and previously developed games are eligible for entry so long as they have not been professionally published, in accordance with the complete rules found at www.indiegamechallenge.com. This includes the eligibility of games previously submitted to other awards competitions, whether or not those games received awards. Online or self-published games that have appeared in Apple’s iTunes Game Store may also be eligible so long as they are not from a major publisher.
Judging will be conducted by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences after Oct. 31. Up to 12 finalist teams will be announced on or about Jan. 15, 2010, and up to five members of each finalist team will be flown to an awards reception Feb. 19, 2010, at the Red Rock Casino Resort Spa in Las Vegas.
The organizers expect a number of student entries from video game educational programs across the nation, says Peter Raad, Guildhall founder and executive director. “The Challenge provides a tangible opportunity for students across the country to bring their ideas to fruition while developing their aptitude for teamwork and collaboration,” he says. “We’re looking forward to seeing some of the fresh ideas these teams are capable of creating.”