Grady’s Game Spectator Earns Spot in UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur Competition

Game Spectator, a start-up venture emerging from the Grady College’s entrepreneurial journalism course, has earned a spot in UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur Competition.

Game Spectator is one of eight student businesses selected from a field of 35 applicants from across the country. The team will pitch its business plan for a chance at a $10,000 top prize. The competition will be held March 30 beginning at 5 p.m. at the Hotel Indigo in downtown Athens.

“It looks like all of those years I spent playing video games instead of going out to parties or talking to girls is about to pay off,” said Keion Pitts, a third-year Grady publications management major and founder of Game Spectator. “E-sports is a growing spectator segment and we believe Game Spectator will be a new voice in this booming industry.”

Pitts created the initial business plan in the fall entrepreneurial journalism class taught by Keith Herndon, visiting professor of journalism. Pitts later teamed up with classmates Jennifer Goldberger and Emily Selby, both Grady seniors, to further develop the concept. Game Spectator aspires to become the “ESPN of e-Sports” said Pitts, who envisions a multimedia platform providing coverage, commentary and user-generated content for the exploding e-Sports sector. Thousands of enthusiastic fans are packing arenas to watch the world’s best video game players and hundreds of millions more are following players and competitions online, Pitts explained.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to put the entrepreneurial concepts I’ve learned at UGA to the test in this pitch competition. It will be the exciting atmosphere an entrepreneur dreams of,” said Goldberger, also a publications management major. “To do this competition with Emily and Keion, classmates turned friends, makes the experience all the better.”

Selby also expressed excitement about the team’s selection into the pitch competition. “I have enjoyed applying journalism concepts to a business idea,” said the magazine journalism major. “I think our ability to tell a compelling story through our pitch will give us an edge.”

UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur competition supports students who have solid business ideas, products or existing businesses who are looking to take their concepts to the next level, said Bob Pinckney, director of UGA’s entrepreneurship program, which is based in the Terry College of Business. He explained this year’s competition is part of Athens’ StartUp Week, a program to encourage entrepreneurial activities in the community and the University.

“The Game Spectator team – Keion, Jenny and Emily – personify the Grady spirit,” said Herndon, who is teaching Grady’s entrepreneurial journalism course again this semester. “Their work beyond the classroom illustrates the creativity and can-do attitude of our students. I’m certain their efforts will inspire other Grady students to act on their entrepreneurial ideas.”

Herndon is also coordinating the Grady College’s participation in the University’s new undergraduate certificate in entrepreneurship. For more information about the certificate, Grady students can contact Herndon at klhern@uga.edu.  An overview of the program can be read here: http://www.terry.uga.edu/academics/entrepreneurship/certificate

Date: March 28, 2016
Author:  Keith Herndon, klhern@uga.edu
Contact:  Keith Herndon, klhern@uga.edu