Program Commenced with Entrepreneurship Pitch Day to Pilot Long-Term Partnership;
Multiday Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for UNLV Student Entrepreneurs to Launch in 2024
LAS VEGAS, Nov. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — GMA Consulting (“GMA”), a leading gaming, entertainment, sports, and hospitality research and consulting firm, and UNLV’s Black Fire Innovation (“Black Fire”) announced today a new initiative for undergraduate and graduate students interested in entrepreneurship. The long-term collaboration between GMA and Black Fire kicked off October 17 with a “pitch day,” featuring four start-ups from the UNLV Incubator powered by Hughes Center, and will soon be followed by a comprehensive multiday boot camp planned for February 2024. The new boot camp will be open to select student entrepreneurs through an application process, accessible via the following link: https://tinyurl.com/3vxem2kk
Inaugural pitch day participants included four diverse start-ups: AERO AI, a drone software technology company that provides a comprehensive solution for capturing and understanding aerial data – Dear Liv, an AI-powered mental health platform creating emotional resilience in elementary-aged children – One Swipe Beats, a frictionless sports betting mobile app with a social media inspired user interface – and Udeso, a simplified license renewal reg tech solution for small businesses. Despite their differences, all four start-ups shared a common thread of applying practical solutions to real-world challenges and helped make pitch day the perfect introduction to GMA and Black Fire’s long-term relationship.
The joint boot camp initiative will be programmed as an interactive workshop with the goal of coaching entrepreneurial students through a typical start-up process, ultimately providing insight into the challenges that often prevent good ideas from becoming widely successful businesses. Guided by GMA’s Founding Partners, students will learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship from leaders with direct experience in the start-up space, discussing lessons learned from both successful and failed ventures.
Seth Schorr, GMA Consulting Founding Partner and Executive-in-Residence at UNLV, commented on the innovative partnership: “The entire GMA Consulting team is thrilled to formally join forces with Black Fire, which has become an indispensable resource in one of the country’s fastest-growing and most enterprising cities. We believe this long-term relationship will directly align with UNLV’s vision of improving the lives of their diverse student population in providing specific value toward a career in entrepreneurship, which continues to become a more popular route following graduation.”
Dr. Robert Rippee, Executive Director of Black Fire Innovation and the UNLV Incubator powered by Hughes Center, said: “This program expansion underscores our commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship among our students, offering them a unique platform to transform their ideas into thriving businesses. With direct access to industry experts, this initiative aims to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs and shape the future of innovation.”
With nearly 30 years of experience in the casino industry, Schorr will offer international casino and entrepreneurial expertise to the program, while Chilton will teach participants all facets of operations, including research, development, evaluation and implementation of new products, services, and technology. Gallaway’s areas of expertise include casino, hotel and integrated resorts feasibility studies, operational reviews, due diligence, development, and marketing analysis. Swissman, a uniquely accomplished marketing executive and Managing Director of GMA, will discuss his successful track record of developing ambitious strategies to elevate profit by implementing loyalty program technology and continuous improvement initiatives that foster growth, success, and increased consumer loyalty, while Szybala – also a Managing Director of GMA – will discuss feasibility studies, due diligence assignments, strategic planning assessments, strategic advisory engagements, and market assessments. Young, a serial entrepreneur and internationally known interactive gaming expert with a successful track record of continuously being at the forefront of new gaming technologies and strategies, will provide insight via his career as a leader in strategy, innovation, and operations.
For more information on the program, including submitting an application to potentially participate, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/3vxem2kk
About GMA Consulting
GMA Consulting is a modern consulting firm created through the merger of Global Market Advisors and The Strategy Organization. Founding Partners Matthew Chilton, Steve Gallaway, Seth Schorr, Josh Swissman, Kit Szybala, and Seth Young each have decades of deep-rooted experience in the hospitality, gaming, entertainment, web3, iGaming and online sports betting industries. In 2023, the firm also launched its Government Relations and Strategic Communications business units. The company’s client list spans the majority of public gaming companies, 85 Native American tribes, commercial and investment banks, and government agencies from around the world. For more information on GMA Consulting, please visit www.gmaconsulting.com.
About UNLV Black Fire Innovation
Located at the Harry Reid Research and Technology Park, Black Fire Innovation serves to accelerate innovation for hospitality, gaming, and entertainment. Opened in 2020 in collaboration with Caesars Entertainment Corporation, this living lab is ideal for engaging in cutting edge translation research and innovation. Within the facility, industry can work with researchers, students, and entrepreneurs to create disruptive innovations. As the home to both tech developments and early-stage startups, Black Fire will have a resounding impact for decades to come. For more information on UNLV’s Office of Economic Development, please visit www.unlv.edu/econdev.
Pat Eichner, Associate Partner – Strategic Communications
SOURCE GMA Consulting