2009 RIT Entrepreneurs Conference Surfs New Frontiers Oct. 9

Alternative reality game entrepreneur Elan Lee to deliver keynote address




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We’re very careful to always insert a small element of the fantastical into our games, because we want people to be able to make that distinction. You don’t want a game that takes over your life. You want to be able to opt into the experience, and control how much of your life is devoted to that game. It’s a fine line, and we’re very conscious of it.

—Elan Lee

Elan Lee ’88 (computer science) is a self-identified entertainment addict. He also is an alumnus of Rochester Institute of Technology and now is considered among the foremost “alternate reality game” creators in the world.

From surfing down the flooded streets of L.A. to broadcasting a radio drama over thousands of ringing payphones, Lee has pioneered breakthroughs in the area of entertainment and immersive gaming. He started his career at the Microsoft Game Studio as lead designer for the X-Box launch portfolio.

Lee will deliver the keynote address at the 2009 RIT Entrepreneurs Conference, scheduled during RIT’s Brick City Homecoming weekend on Oct. 9. The co-founder of 42 Entertainment and founder of Fourth Wall Studios will deliver his remarks from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences Auditorium.

“We are particularly thrilled that Elan Lee, a serial entrepreneurs and pioneer in the alternative reality game genre, is our keynote speaker,” says Richard DeMartino, associate professor of management in RIT’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business and director of the Albert J. Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“Elan, an RIT alumnus and a fan of Rochester in general, has assisted RIT and the Gannett Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in the development of the Community Game—‘Picture the Impossible.’”

RIT places a great emphasis on developing commercializing innovative products and services. The annual conference is designed to not only help the community start businesses but explore such fields as social media, sustainability and design where RIT is a world leader.

Participants are invited to a 7:30 a.m. continental breakfast in the Golisano College, followed by concurrent sessions/panels from 9:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. in the Golisano College and the Louise M. Slaughter Building.

A sampling of sessions include: Commercializing Technology, Opportunities in Social Media and What Does it Take to Start a Business, to Entrepreneurship in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities.

As DeMartino says, “Innovative products and services are important, but our conference will help people understand how to create businesses from these innovation products and services.”

The conference is open to the public, and the cost including a boxed lunch is $75, $25 for RIT alumni. The event is free for RIT students, faculty and staff—with a lunch fee ranging from $7 to $10. Spaces are limited; online registration is available at http://simonecenter.rit.edu, or call Donna Slavin at (585) 475-2199.