Saturday, May 7, 2016 to Wednesday, December 31, 3000.
The future has not been written as I write this, but here are some of my thoughts about life after EAE, coming May 7, 2016.
Option A – I would really like to start my own contract, commercial game studio that will eventually make some of my own IP. I have a great brand in mind for the studio, but will not publish it until I acquire the already owned domain name. One of our first projects could include managing the future of B.E.S.T., particularly if we find investor or partner financial support at I/ITSEC. I would also love to work on VR and/or AR projects associated with Microsoft Hololens, Oculus Rift or The Void. I would also consider making game adaptations of films, high end gamification projects, and more.
Option B – Alternately, I could spend a year to five years at an existing AAA game studio. I have contacts at EA Salt Lake, 343 Studios, Disney Avalanche, and others through GDC, IGDA, etc. The AAA experience, particularly if at a studio that does $100 million and up projects (Halo, GTA, Destiny, Call of Duty), could help me raise bigger money to do future projects.
Option C – I could also consider a path that leads through Goldman Sachs. (One of my life goals is to participate in an IPO or two at an executive level.) This could help me connect with more financing sources down the road. I still plan to focus on games and entertainment.
I am open to ideas about how I can best use some of my past education and experience in this industry, and welcome calls and emails. (Contact info below.)
Highlights of my educational background:
BA Communications, Brigham Young University
MBA Finance, Brigham Young University
EJD Law, Concord Law School
MBE Entertainment Business, Full Sail University
MEAE Entertainment Arts & Engineering, University of Utah, EAE Master Games Studio
I am also a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom with a background in both admin (human resources) and military intelligence. I was the Distinguished Honor Grad at the Soldier Support Institute in South Carolina following Basic Training and a Database Manager and Site Survey Team member for the Iraq Survey Group in Iraq, Qatar, and Kuwait. I was awarded a TS/SCI clearance, aka Top Secret, which has since expired but can be renewed.
I also have a strong background in film, especially the business side. Just prior to starting my MEAE at the EAE Master Games Studio in 2013, I spent two weeks in Belize attending Compass Rose Humanitarian Film School, where we made micro documentaries in support of HELP International.
Tuesday, February 15, 2016.
Two major updates in the last week will affect “After EAE.”
First, B.E.S.T. Police Training Simulator, my team’s thesis project, has been selected as a finalist for the Microsoft U.S. Imagine Cup! Team B.E.S.T. will present at the Microsoft developer conference sometime between March 29 and April 1 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Ahmad says making it to the finals commonly leads to job offers from Microsoft, which may or may not be a positive outlook for the future of B.E.S.T. One or more team members being asked to work for Microsoft is an outcome we have to talk about if we are going to accept investors.
Second, I’ve accepted one of thirty positions at the entrepreneurship focused Royal Business Academy in Prague, Czech Republic from July 11 to August 5 of 2016. Phase 1 starts today. 🙂 I plan to validate my business plan for a Park City based video game studio, which will include the continuing adventures of B.E.S.T. Question is, can I make the new studio culture competitive with Microsoft so we can keep our people?
I also plan to apply to be part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program this Fall. Two alumni recruited me for last fall after the Utah Governor’s Economic Summit, but the Thursday schedule overlaps with my Thursday morning thesis class until May 6th. I believe a Goldman connection will help us prepare for future large scale funding and help ensure our books are always in order.
Thursday, March 31, 2016.
Great news! B.E.S.T. Police Training Simulator is the National Winner of the US Microsoft Imagine Cup 2016! (World Citizenship category. HealthX won for Innovation and Sundown for Games.) We hope to attend the World Finals in July 2016, and of course develop B.E.S.T. into a world class training solution that teaches de-escalation of conflict.
Jed Merrill, Producer, 801-815-7777, JedMerrill@Gmail.com