Jonathan Eimer, a junior advertising major at UT who is minoring in entrepreneurship, placed fourth in a national pitch competition for Gamer Gel, his invention designed to replace unhealthy energy drinks and deliver key vitamins and nutrients to competitive video gamers.
Eimer, a former professional gamer, pitched his idea earlier this month at the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization national convention in Kansas City, Missouri. As video gaming has emerged as a major industry, so has the concern over health repercussions associated with the sedentary lifestyle of many video gamers.
“I lived a lifestyle of consuming a lot of Monster drinks and playing video games 10 to 12 hours a day,” said Eimer. “A couple years ago I read an article about the growing amount of sickness amongst gamers because they were 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.”
The competition held three rounds, and six finalists were selected for the prize round.
While the bragging rights that come with placing in a national competition are a nice perk, Eimer said the connections he made were the best part of his experience.
“I had a lot of different gamers and people in the industry coming to talk to me after each round of the pitches,” he said. “Connecting with the judges was huge. After the finals, judges invited me to compete at the CEO Southeastern Conference and two other national competitions. I’ve already applied to the 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 UT’s CEO chapter. He received a paid trip from the UT chapter 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.
In addition to competing in future pitch competitions, Eimer is moving forward with developing his product.
“Right now we’re working on a very basic prototype. We have a six-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 each Wednesday in Haslam Business Building Room 201.
For more information on the CEO Pitch Competition, visit ceoutk.org.
To learn more about Gamer Gel, visit gamergel.com.
Kimberly Hood (865-974-5126, firstname.lastname@example.org)