Prince William County, Va. – George Mason University and Prince William County, a public-private partnership in Simulation and Game design, formally opened the new Simulation and Game Institute today.
The Simulation and Game Institute (SGI) is the only one of its kind on the East Coast and one of only four global affiliated facilities established to primarily support early-entry entrepreneurship into the simulation, modeling and game industry – an $80 billion industry, growing 7% annually.
Speaking at the Ceremony, Dr. Annie Hunt Burriss, Chief Executive Officer, George Mason University – Prince William Campus said, “The world is changing quickly. In the innovation economy “high value industries of the mind” are creating the well paid jobs of the future. Together, George Mason University and Prince William County, with our community partners, are creating a great new industry and jobs that Americans want.”
”In Innovation Park and throughout Prince William County we are encouraging technological innovation, growth and expansion. SGI has already attracted five start-up businesses and is committed to graduating these young entrepreneurs through the business accelerator to establish stand-alone businesses and new jobs here in the County,” said Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors, during the Ceremony.
In October 2013, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors granted $32,000 from the County Economic Development Opportunity Fund to the George Mason University Foundation Inc., to help secure the establishment of SGI. Emerging companies that are chosen to reside in SGI will receive business assistance services through the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.
"SGI is an outstanding example of how technology based collaborations can be leveraged to create economic opportunities and jobs. I am pleased to have this program as part of the Commonwealth's growing modeling and simulation portfolio," added Virginia Secretary of Technology, Karen Jackson, who also spoke at the event.
SGI offers cutting edge game design research and development, simulation and game training and certification; visualization and simulation software and rapid-prototyping development. As a business incubator, SGI also provides access to: leading commercialization and marketing channels; student development talent; research faculty; industry experts; mentors; business counselling support; and the potential of financial investment from foundations and equity partners.
Situated in Innovation Park, a collaborative epicenter of corporate and university research and technology, SGI is housed in a core blend of teaching, research, faculty and administrative offices at George Mason’s Prince William Campus. SGI has 4,000 square feet of dedicated offices, studios, research space and a product development lab for individuals, entrepreneurs and start-up companies.
“The SGI represents the pro-business culture and leadership of Prince William County. Together we are delivering an innovative, high-value business environment that helps businesses meet the challenges of today to exceed in the rapidly-changing marketplace of tomorrow,” added Kelly Ballweber, Vice President - US, LeaseWeb USA Inc., representing the SGI Sponsor companies.
LeaseWeb USA Inc., is the latest and fifth industry partner to join SGI donor partners: Beck Foundation; Carney Labs; Entertainment Software Association; and Zaah NY who have extended financial, in-kind and corporate support for business acceleration and expansion into new industries, such as: healthcare; education; defense; business decision-making; and cyber security. The five emerging businesses already accepted into the Institute are Bruxe Studios, Little Arms Studios, Zaah on Campus LLC, ProfessionsQuest and MediaShock LLC.
As one of the County’s key target industries, the Information and Technology sector qualifies for priority treatment, expedited permitting and high consideration for incentives. The Simulation and Game Institute is located at George Mason University – Prince William Campus, Bull Run Hall, Mason Enterprise Center, 10900 University Boulevard, Manassas, VA 20110. To learn more about the Institute and entrepreneurial opportunities contact: Dr. Scott M. Martin, Founding Director, Simulation and Game Institute at: Tel: 1.703.993.4574 or firstname.lastname@example.org.