Game on for computer students

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YOUNG entrepreneurs from South Tyneside hope to take their business ideas to the next level.

Computer games development students James Ridley and Christopher Greaves are preparing to launch new games for mobile phones after working with businessman Gerald Krasner.

James, 20, from South Shields, and Christopher, 21, from Jarrow, are both in the second year of their foundation degree games development course at Newcastle College.

They impressed Mr Krasner, the former owner of Leeds United Football Club, during an enterprise challenge called Have You Got What It Takes?

The pair were part of two small groups which came up with business ideas for creating computer games, and making them a commercial success.

Now the students will spend the summer months developing their products, which could eventually be available to buy online.

James, a former pupil at St Wilfrid’s RC Comprehensive School in Temple Park Road, South Shields, said: “We had been playing around with various ideas for creating games for a number of months, but not done much about them.

“Gerald told us that our ideas were good and that they could actually work.

“He’s made us think in a much more professional, strategic way and gave us invaluable information about how we could actually turn our idea into a business.

“We are looking to do that this summer. We have the computer software, but we have to work hard on the business side.”

The students worked alongside Mr Krasner for 12 weeks, during which they learned about marketing techniques, customer services, strategic planning, accounts and business development.

They were judged on the strength of their suggestions, their presentation skills and whether Mr Krasner believed they could make their business proposals a success.

Mr Krasner led a consortium of businessmen which took over Leeds United in 2004.

He has been lecturing for 30 years and is a leading business, rescue, recovery and restructuring specialist.

He said: “We have been encouraging students to be entrepreneurial, but realistic about the world around them in light of the current economic climate.

“Most of the work on this course has been based on their own business ideas, so it has been directly relevant to what they have been coming up with, and they have responded to this approach with real enthusiasm.”

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