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  Two College Student Minorities Present Game Idea at the White House
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[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

For immediate release

Washington D.C. (December 9, 2013) -  Two Filipino students from San Francisco State University went to the White House to present a video game idea earlier this week as part of the first Leaders on Fast Track's (LOFT) annual video game innovation fellowship. The prestigious program enables minority students to develop an idea and present it to congressmen and key people in the White House. The two students were Nicu Listana, a junior and technical writing student, and John Funtanilla, a senior and a business management student. 

Both students were able to meet with some of the videogame industry’s most influential leaders as well as key government officials lobbying for educational innovation. Several of these people were Antonio Tijierno, CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Michael Gallagher, CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, Congressman Ben Lujan and many more.

The LOFT Innovation Fellowship is a program back by the ESA that empowers students aged 16 to 24 to create video games that seek solutions to solve problems in their communities and emphasizes the importance of engaging the youth creatively on their terms. John and Nicu's upcoming game is titled Founder's Quest, a startup simulation game that enables players to create, develop, and advance their own businesses.

“Founder's Quest seeks to educate and inspire anybody who is willing to start their own business through an interactive simulation of simplified business startup scenarios,” says John Funtanilla. Nicu Listana adds, “The game will be a valuable tool to bridge the knowledge gap between low and high income business owners through simplified game mechanics.”

John and Nicu each received a $1,000 grant from LOFT in partnership with the ESA to further Founder's Quest progress. To take Founder’s Quest from idea to product, they are planning to pitch the game to publishers and utilize crowd funding channels such as Kickstarter using their current network and new partners they had made during their trip to the White House.

Founder's Quest is scheduled to release sometime next summer, with a beta coming April 2014. 


John Funtanilla is an entrepreneur, game producer, and part time student at San Francisco State University. He is the founder of Ironzilla, a game development studio based in San Francisco, and is the cofounder of Founder Cave, a mobile game incubator focused on user acquisition and providing small startups with free office space and access to advisors, mentors, and investors.

Email: [email protected] | Phone: (707) 688-2779 |

Nicu Listana is an entrepreneur, project manager, and a part time student at San Francisco State University. He is the founder of dCoye Interactive, a San Francisco based independent game studio, and is also a major partner of Founder Cave.

Email: [email protected] | Phone: (415) 613-2053 |

About LOFT

LOFT is HHF's award-winning, leadership and workforce development program focused on America's "priority fields" including STEM and innovation. Tens and thousands of students and young professionals are connected to each other; prepared through trainings, priority-field-tailored symposia, workshops, and Charlas; and hundreds are placed into internships, mentorships, fellowships and full-time positions with Fortune 100 companies and government agencies. Visit Join and follow LOFT on Facebook and Twitter - @LOFTInstitute