Last night, EA hosted an event with the UC Berkeley Haas Alumni Network designed to challenge the minds and ambitions of current and former UC Berkeley students with a discussion on “Digital Entertainment and Social Networking: What’s New, What’s on The Horizon, and How it Will Change Our Lives”. In preparation for the event, students and alumni of UC Berkeley’s engineering, science and business programs were invited to submit startup business proposals focused on changing the realm of digital entertainment and social networking. From the multitude of submissions, two winning proposals were selected to be presented on stage and receive critical feedback from EA CEO and Haas School board member, John Riccitiello, and a team of creative leaders at EA.
To both teams Riccitiello offered his three key points of advice in creating a successful business: understand who the customer is and who the product is designed to serve; have a clear value proposition to know what problem you’re trying to solve; and have the right kind of talent in order to make the product a success. Riccitiello also insisted that successful ventures are ones that change over time, citing EA’s own digital transformation from roots in the early days of EA.com to EA’s multi-platform portfolio of online games and services today, including last year’s launch of Origin which now hosts 11 million registered users worldwide. Riccitiello also offered the final thought that to build a successful product or company you must, “Listen. Listen again, adjust, then listen one more time."
The first business proposal presented for evaluation came from UC Berkeley alum, Stephen Bulfer. His company, LifeCellar (http://lifecellar.com/), promises to store, protect, manage and organize users’ personal information and data in a highly secure, easily accessible and organized manner.
The second business proposal came from current UC Berkeley students Justin Lee and Evan Layman. With their company, Yowza, Lee and Layman are developing a mobile game that will look to change how friends interact with each other in a truly social way. Dually impressed with their idea and approach, Riccitiello offered the students the opportunity to work with EA’s Chief Creative Officer and his team to learn and help build out the concept for their mobile game.
EA congratulates both teams on great concepts, and we look forward to hearing more about their future success. test1