CAGD Student Places in Business Competition

Congratulations to our CAGD Student Nicholas DiNapoli for placing third in the Business Concept Competition hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship. Read furhter to learn more about Nick's success in applying his team's game concept to a business model.

My Experience in the “Business Concept Competition”

Nicholas DiNapoli

Last semester [Fall 2014], I led a small team of three other students and created a video game called Rocket Volley in APCG 470, the advanced game design course. This game received extremely positive feedback from all of its play testers, so it has become a project that my team and I wanted to pursue further. It became our goal to create a company to support this game and publish the game to all major platforms, including Xbox and PlayStation.

Recently, I was encouraged by the faculty of the Computer Animation and Game Design major to join a competition at Chico State University titled the “Business Concept Competition.” This contest was for students to propose business abstracts for start-up companies. Over the course of three days, I prepared a two page business proposal and after having it reviewed by Jeff Underwood and Clarke Steinback, I submitted my business concept to the Center for Entrepreneurship, who was hosting the competition. Within a week, I received an e-mail that congratulated me for reaching the finals of the competition, which included 12 other students. I would later learn that the contest had over 45 applicants, so even just reaching the finals was an achievement.

For the finals, I would need to prepare a four minute presentation for a group of four judges and a large audience consisting mostly of business majors at Chico State. On Wednesday, April 15th I went to the BMU for the Finals. I presented third out of the thirteen contestants.  I have to admit, being in front of more than 80 students I had never met before was slightly intimidating. I didn’t give my best pitch, but I made sure than my pitch included an impressive business plan and an entertaining assortment of information about our video game. The panel of judges was thoroughly engaged throughout the presentation and seemed thrilled by the uniqueness of the idea. After the rest of the group presented, the judges left to decide on the winners. My wait was not long, as Straus wasted no time in announcing the winners. I was overjoyed to receive third place in the competition, as the other contestants presented excellent concepts and were experienced business majors. I think my advantages came from the uniqueness of my business concept, as well as my business’s feasibility.

In the coming months, both my team and I will be pursuing multiple opportunities for funding so that we can get our company off the ground and published. Even though my business concept didn’t advance to the next round of the Business Competition, this is still a venture that we intend on completing. Rocket Volley has presented us with an opportunity that is too good to pass up and we want to take advantage of it. Our company will support the publication of this game and any other games we make in the future. Looking back on the experience, it has been a true joy to work with such talented and creative people in this major and I look forward to continuing to work with them, even though they make really, really bad puns about everything.