When Google and Microsoft came calling with the type of jobs many young computer engineering graduates look for, Justin Beck turned them down. The 2009 graduate of UW-Madison wanted to stay in town and build the gaming studio PerBlue, which he started with his business partner, Andrew Hansen.
Their first effort, a Pokeman Go-type video game was about 10 years too early. But Beck and his partner went on to create Parallel Kingdom, a successful mobile location-based, massively multi-player game that put players in a virtual world on top of the real world. In 2016, they sold another hit game, DragonSoul, to GREE Entertainment for $35 million.
PerBlue today employs more than 50 developers in Madison. It publishes, among other titles, Disney Heroes: Battle Mode under a partnership with the mega entertainment company.
Beck's tips for other entrepreneurs
- When you run out of money, the whole show stops. Prudent management of cash is a critical attitude to have.
- Choose carefully who you partner with.
- Manage your relationships with investors.
- Hire great people who are better than you. If you do that, you will for sure build out a rock star team that is able to move mountains. It's really a team effort.