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Tuesday, July 28th, 2015


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Innovation Pays Off for University of Florida Student Entrepreneurs

(U-WIRE) GAINESVILLE, Fla. – University of Florida sophomore Jonas Brandon decided he wanted to play video game emulator classics such as PacMan and Super Mario Brothers on his computer even before he came to UF. But for Brandon and 20 other gaming enthusiasts he’s encountered, the experience just isn’t the same without the use of the matching classic controller.

Discontent, Brandon set out to design an adapter to make the old Atari and Nintendo controllers work on his computer. Now, Brandon and his company, known as "Classic Controllers," are pursuing patents in the United States and Southeast Asia and hope to market the adapter on emulator game Web sites, such as ClassicGaming.com, where a defined audience of gaming enthusiasts already exists.

Brandon and other UF students who have shown business imagination and initiative saw their ideas pay off in green. These students presented their ideas to a panel of judges, hoping to win a slice of the $5,000 prize money distributed in the UF Entrepreneurs’ Club Business Idea Competition. The competition, which has grown since its inception last year, offered money in three categories. Classic Controllers won $1,500 and " p expenses.< business on money the use will and Innovation? Best>, where a defined audience of gaming enthusiasts already exists.

Brandon and other UF students who have shown business imagination and initiative saw their ideas pay off in green. These students presented their ideas to a panel of judges, hoping to win a slice of the $5,000 prize money distributed in the UF Entrepreneurs’ Club Business Idea Competition. The competition, which has grown since its inception last year, offered money in three categories. Classic Controllers won $1,500 and " p expenses.< business on money the use will and Innovation? Best>

"What we offer the player is a reunion with the controller they so loved," Brandon said. "Without it, emulation is not complete. You need the controller. It’s the grand finale. It completes the circuit."

Student Entrepreneurs – Business Ideas Win Money, Publicity

Another creative idea came from agriculture senior Felipe Thomaz, who won $2,000 for "Best Opportunity." Thomaz is creating an international network of reptile breeders so he can sell reptiles to pet stores, museums and zoos through his own brand name, Scaled Tails.

"We are the first one to try and develop a brand to a reptile," said Thomaz, who already has trademarked the brand name and logo. Thomaz said he has been working to get his name and idea in the pet market, attending area trade shows, working with local pet stores and contacting breeders as far away as Brazil.

The last award went to the students who helped bring the UF engineering "Glow-Bike" effort to life. They were awarded $1,500 for "Best Presentation." Mechanical engineering seniors Matthew Young and Gregory Yoder helped design a glow-in- the-dark bicycle kit of electroluminescent panels that attach to a bike’s frame and wheels.

Their invention, also co-invented by mechanical engineering professor Christopher Niezrecki, has garnered national attention, including an Associated Press article and stories in Newsweek and on the Discovery channel, the group said.

Although there were only three winners, more than 20 business teams competed to make it to the final round, and only five teams were given the chance to make presentations.

Copyright ©2002 Independent Florida Alligator via U-Wire

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