As video gaming has emerged as a major industry, so has the concern over health repercussions associated with the sedentary lifestyle of many gamers. With that in mind Jonathan Eimer, a junior advertising major who is minoring in entrepreneurship, set out to create a solution, Gamer Gel.
Gamer Gel is a product designed to replace unhealthy energy drinks and deliver key vitamins and nutrients to competitive gamers. Eimer recently pitched his idea at the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., taking fourth place out of a field of 60 contestants.
“I used to play video games professionally, and I lived a lifestyle of consuming a lot of Monster drinks and playing video games 10-12 hours a day,” said Eimer. “A couple years ago I read an article about the growing amount of sickness amongst gamers because they are playing for such long periods of time without proper nutrition or exercise. There was even a guy who died while playing, and no one realized it for two days because they thought he was still playing. After reading that, I knew I wanted to create something that was a healthy alternative to energy drinks.”
The competition went through three rounds with six finalists being selected for the prize round that was held in front of the 800-1000 conference attendees and a panel of experienced judges.
The winning contestant was Sam Lukach from the University of Wisconsin who pitched the HUK TV mount, an affordable television mount designed to be attached to railings, bunk beds or even a 2×4 piece of lumber, allowing users to mount a TV without putting large holes in the drywall.
While the bragging rights that came with placing in a national competition were certainly a nice perk, Eimer said the best part of the experience was the valuable connections he made.
“I had a lot of different gamers and people in the industry coming to talk to me after each round of the pitches,” Eimer said. “Connecting with the judges was also huge. After the finals, judges invited me to compete at the CEO Southeastern Conference and two other national competitions. I’ve already applied to Future Founders National Elevator Pitch Competition in Chicago and hope to compete there.”
Eimer qualified to compete at the CEO National Convention by winning the elevator pitch competition hosted by the UT CEO chapter. As the winner, he received a paid trip to compete in the national competition. Erik Rutledge, a senior in computer engineering and UT CEO president, and Natanael Arfa, a junior in marketing and UT CEO vice president, accompanied him to the conference.
This was the first time any of the three had attended the CEO National Conference, and they all found the experience worthwhile.
“Just having entrepreneurs all together and trying to help each other was really cool,” said Arfa. “We were able to make a lot of valuable connections just over breakfast and in between meetings.”
“We’ll definitely be back,” added Rutledge.
Jeff Hoffman, a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, motivational speaker and Hollywood film producer, was the keynote speaker.
“Listening to Jeff Hoffman speak was really motivational,” said Arfa. “He didn’t give a lot of specific examples from his career, but he really inspired us to get out there and do something.”
In addition to competing in future pitch competitions, Eimer is also actively moving forward with developing his product.
“Right now we’re working on a very basic prototype. We have a 6-month timeline to have everything finished. The big thing right now is finalizing the product itself – the chemistry and ingredients,” said Eimer. “We’re shooting for May 1 as an official launch date.”
The UT CEO chapter meets on Wednesdays in Haslam Business Building room 201. For more information on CEO, visit http://ceoutk.org. To learn more about Gamer Gel and be notified when it’s available for purchase, visit http://gamergel.com.