A gaming software program developed by Penn State Worthington Scranton student, Michael Marcos, and Jim Walker, a former Keystone College student, earned second place in this year's Business Plan Competition sponsored by the Great Valley Technology Alliance.
Marcos, an Information Science Technology major at Penn State Worthington Scranton, said the pair's project, "Brave Gamer" is essentially an online platform aimed at teaching teens and young adults how to program software using adventure-style computer games.
The program is intended for those between the ages of 16 and 25, and geared toward helping those at the novice level to those who could be considered seasoned developers.
"What Mike and his team have produced is an example of how the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in this region," said Fred Aebli, Penn State Worthington instructor in information science and technology, who also helped Marcos in the project's initial stages.
"This begins to show how Penn State Worthington Scranton and the other educational institutions in this region can become a resource with unlimited potential to create the next great 'whatever'."
The two earned $5,000 in prize money from the competition, which they will use to buy development equipment, Marcos said, adding that they are trying to expand their original idea so that it can be used by students in local schools and their teachers. "The purpose, really, is to develop talent," he said.
Presently, 40 developers are using the software the pair created and 20,000 users of their site, www.bravegamer.com.
"It was incredibly exciting," Marcos said, of the whole experience, and he's hoping to use his project to instill passion for software programming in others.
Michael is the son of Frank and Denise Marcos of Lake Wallenpaupack.