Alumni News

June 18, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Atlas Language: You Have to Learn Arabic to Get off This Island

Sergio Gonzalez and Samuel Bockoven, co-founders of Atlas Language Innovations

Sergio Gonzalez and Samuel Bockoven, co-founders of Atlas Language Innovations

 

In Voyage, a new game developed by Ohio University students, players will have to learn Arabic to get off the island.

Voyage will set the player on an island as a shipwrecked sailor after a monstrous storm. On the island, only Arabic is spoken. The player must explore the island and complete challenges and puzzles in Arabic to find the pieces to rebuild his ship to sail back home.

Voyage is in development for an August 2013 release for both PC and Mac platform. It is the flagship game of Atlas Language Innovations, a startup cofounded by Samuel Bockoven and Sergio “Tony” Gonzalez.

Atlas Language Innovations LLC is one of six start-up projects selected by the Innovation Engine Accelerator for an intensive 12-week summer program designed to advance entrepreneurship in Ohio. The program began May 28 and runs through Aug. 16 at Ohio University’s Innovation Center in Athens. The selected start-ups are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in funding from the program. Participants will refine their business models and products, receive expert entrepreneurial coaching and advice and have the opportunity to pitch their startups to investors at the end of the summer.

Atlas Language Innovations  is an independent game development company focused on creating a unique language learning experience for the visual learner. Atlas is moving toward a new frontier of language learning by offering downloadable language-focused video games on a variety of platforms. With a quick download, you will be taking the first step into the world of a new language through the puzzles, challenges, and ability to explore that through the medium of a video game. Atlas aims to give students and educators a new inexpensive and interactive tool to expand their foreign language lessons.

Bockoven and Gonzalez, the co-founders, originally from Dayton, Ohio, attend Ohio University. Bockoven graduated in 2013 with a degree in linguistics and anthropology and will begin work toward a master’s of linguistics this fall. Tony is an undergraduate computer sciences major.

Four of this summer’s six Innovation Engine Accelerator startups involve students and alumni of Ohio University’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Ohio University’s Center for Entrepreneurship—administered by the College of Business and the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs—is providing intense Lean Launch curriculum, based on Stanford University’s successful model for startups, as well as experienced venture capital advisers to participants. Startups may use 1,000 sq. ft. of creative shared space with pods for each business and can access conference rooms, equipment and software.

Dozens of mentors—startup entrepreneurs; seed, angel and  venture investors; C-level industry executives; technical specialists; professional service providers and venture development executives—will provide intensive business coaching to the startups. The program offers no or low-cost legal assistance through its attorney-in-residence partner Bricker & Eckler for easy company formation.

The Innovation Engine Accelerator is part of a series of initiatives designed to address the surge of digital media entrepreneurs emerging from Ohio University and throughout Ohio. More details about the program are available at www.innovationengineaccelerator.com.

Program sponsors include TechGROWTH Ohio (a public/private partnership administered by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs), WesBanco, Athenian Ventures, CreMedia, IMGUR, Ohio University’s Innovation Center, Vice President for Research and Creative Activity, Center for Entrepreneurship, Scripps College of Communication, Russ College of Engineering and Technology and College of Arts & Sciences.

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