A team of business-minded Oakland University students and alumni are prepared to take the plunge into the marketplace this summer, with the launch of their own company and product, a community-based board game called “The Realm of Agennul.”
The group has formed Ardent Games, a limited liability company that hopes to raise the funds needed to manufacture the game through a crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign, set to run for just one month. The team hopes to raise $18,000 in the campaign.
Amy Butler, executive director of OU INC has watched the team develop into a viable company. "I am impressed by the group's enthusiasm and their ability to cohesively work together taking their idea to market," she said.
The campaign will kick off with a launch party at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 12, at the OU INC business incubator, located at the Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion on Oakland’s campus. Interactive and printable campus maps are available at oakland.edu/map
Much of this progress has been made possible through OU’s Ideas 2 Business Lab (I2B), an innovative program that encourages fledgling entrepreneurs and provides the support and guidance required to turn ideas into successful businesses.
“The I2B provided me with the ability to form a cohesive and hard-working team, as well as access to additional resources like advising and facilities,” said OU junior Keegan Whitla, creator and project manager.
The game is the brainchild of Whitla, who has led the student team consisting of two marketing specialists, senior Ryan Gault and recent graduate Dom Frigo; two web developers, junior Leandra Kramer and senior Steve Stocker; and advisor Eric Tomei, an Oakland alumnus and entrepreneur.
“The Realm of Agennul” is a fantasy game that will allow players, writers and artists to contribute to the game’s development through an interactive website.
“Innovation comes from the sharing of ideas, and a board game should be built on more than just one person's vision,” Whitla said. “This opportunity also allows participants to be a part of a community and gives them the chance to be published in the actual board game.”
The I2B program is funded jointly through OU’s School of Business Administration and the School of Engineering and Computer Science.
Designed to assist students and faculty members in launching new business ventures, I2B offers support, guidance and resources, including business plan development and presentation, and support for commercialization through an established partnership with OU INC.
OU INC professionals provide expertise and seek to accelerate and expand the number of business ventures that make it to market. I2B team members are able to learn about start-up costs, investment strategies, minimize start-up expenses, leverage shared costs and form a network with fellow entrepreneurs. For more information about OU INC, view the website at oakland.edu/ouinc
For more information about Oakland’s I2B program, view the website at oakland.edu/i2b