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MIT Sloan Business and Gaming Conference to Spotlight Best Business Practices Underlying and Supporting the Creativity of Developers

Business Plan Competition to Award $10,000 in Legal Services (March 22, 2012)

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/22/12 -- The gaming industry is a harsh environment in which to start and to grow a business. It's risky, hits-driven, and traditionally receives minimal support from governments, banks, incubators, and most modern institutions devoted to nurturing new companies. How then does one survive and, ultimately, thrive?

On Thursday, April 5, 2012, the 4th Annual MIT Sloan Business and Gaming (BiG) Conference will gather industry insiders, independent developers, gaming enthusiasts, venture capitalists, attorneys, academics, and students from across MIT and other top-tier colleges for a day-long exploration into the business side of the gaming industry.

MIT BiG is being held on the MIT Sloan campus in Cambridge, MA the day before PAX East -- one of the country's largest events celebrating gaming culture -- which takes place in Boston, making it convenient for participants to attend both conferences.

Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive, is slated to take part in a Fireside Chat with Erik Schatzker, a Bloomberg Television anchor and host of Inside Track.

Additional panelists and speakers will include:

Panel 1: Marketing and Branding in a Digital Age
Robert Ferrari, President, Bare Tree Media
Christina Licursi, Associate, Wolf Greenfield
Ryan Schneider, Marketing Director, Insomniac Games
Ichiro Lambe, President and Creative Director, Dejobaan Games

Panel 2: Corporate Finance and M&A in the Gaming Industry
Chris Weaver, President, Media Technology Ltd.
Michael Dornbrook, Angel Investor and Board Member, Common Angels
Jeffrey Steele, Attorney, Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton
Tim Wright, General Partner, GrandBanks Capital
Fareed Mosavat, Head of Studio, Zynga Boston

Panel 3: Managing Startups
Steve Charkoudian, Partner, Goodwin Procter
Monty Sharma, Managing Director, MassDiGI
Chris Allen, CEO, Brass Monkey
Aaron St. John, Founder, Hitpoint Studios
Jon Radoff, Founder, Disruptor Beam

Panel 4: Project Management: Avoiding Burnout in Creative Staff
Greg Boyd, Associate, Davis & Gilbert
Tarrnie Williams, President, Roadhouse Interactive
Roy Ben Ami, Senior Producer, Playdom
Craig Alexander, V.P. Product Development, Turbine, Inc.
Paul Bellezza, Associate Producer, Riot Games

MIT BiG and Foley Hoag LLP are sponsoring a Business Plan Competition geared towards start-up companies in the video game, interactive media and related industries. A single winning entry will be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in free legal services from Foley Hoag relating to their new venture. Business plans will be judged based on business concept, innovation, feasibility and market analysis. For more details, please visit:

To register for MIT BiG or for more information, please visit

Launched in 2009 by a group of MIT Sloan MBA students, MIT BiG has featured such keynotes as Ken Levine, founding member of Irrational Games, and Curt Schilling, the Boston Red Sox's three-time World Series champion and founder of 38 Studios, along with additional speakers and panelists from EA, Playdom, Irrational Games, Turbine, Harmonix, and Bethesda Softworks, among others. Panel discussions and keynote addresses have covered a wide range of topics, including the implications of microtransactions on sales, innovative approaches to marketing, and how to build and launch a gaming startup.

For further information, contact:
Paul Denning
Director of Media Relations
(617) 253-0576 office
Email Contact

Patricia Favreau
Assistant Director of Media Relations
Email Contact

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