Leveling Up: Transforming Gaming into Business Success
Republished with permission from Trent University Showcase: Fall 2015
For Hasham Burhani, straightforward learning is a tad boring. It’s not nearly as fun, engaging, or effective as gaming. For this graduate student, currently enrolled in Trent’s Applications of Modeling program, the intriguing concept of “gamified learning” morphed into his own business.
Drawing inspiration from his early gamer days he says, “Important information can be consumed in a much more fun way with increased retention and recall. That’s why we remember the rules of Super Mario from our childhoods.”
In 2001, while a student at Trent, Mr. Burhani founded Evolutis Technologies to create interactive learning environments for use in and out of the classroom that stimulate vision, sounds and touch at the same time. Through fun and gaming the user is fully engage while retaining maximum information.
“We hope to see our customers playing these game while waiting for a bus, or on a train heading to university” said Mr. Burhani. “In the future we would like to team up with universities to deliver subjects specific apps that take advantage of our innovations.”
Evolutis Technologies is currently producing two interactive, educational video games designed for mobile devices that focus on chemistry and biology. The company plans to complete Atmos this year while working on Infectus through 2016.
Game comes to life at “The Cube” – Peterborough’s technology business incubator
To launch his business, Mr. Burhani set up shop at The Cube, a technology business incubator located on Trent University’s Peterborough campus.
Through strategic partnerships’ with organizations including the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), The Cube offers access to top-notch research facilities, academics and mentors. Among other services, The Cube provides business management tools, expertise, training and connections to funding
The Cube in Peterborough and the Spark Centre in Durham, a fellow Trent partner, provided office space and facilitated the company’s participation in the OCE Discovery innovation-to-commercialization conference.
“They have both been of tremendous help in regards to giving us opportunities to represent game innovation in Peterborough,” Mr. Burhani says, adding, “Trent University has great computer science and business departments that can provide The Cube with future technologists and entrepreneurs. The Cube is an important technology innovation hub in the region due to this strategic collaboration.”
Mr. Burhani initially graduated from Trent’s Computing and Information Systems program, specializing in software engineering. His entrepreneurial vision emerged through exposure to additional sciences during his studies including biology, chemistry and psychology.
“It was during these courses where the courses where the idea of gamified learning really dawned on me,” he recalls.
Following graduation from Trent, he worked for a year as a software developer in Vancouver, before returning in 2013 to pursue his master degrees in Applied Modeling and Quantitative Methods. In addition to inspiration, he also values the technological skills he continues to acquire at Trent.
“My theoretical understanding of programming paradigms enabled me to pick up new programming languages very quickly,” stated Mr. Burhani. “The final software engineering course at Trent was instrumental when implementing solutions from prototype to finished product. Trent offered me the perfect mix of theory and practice.”