Brothers Dan and Ryan Yosua, a Penn State Information, Science, and Technology (IST) alumni and student, respectively, partnered up to develop and launch the video game app eVubble Lite in 2013. The launch of their first app was enabled by a successful Kickstarter campaign through which the pair raised enough money to finance the game’s development and other fees related to maintaining the app, which was then offered for free.

The initial “lite” version of the app was all about the experience for the brothers. They were looking to develop their skills and beef up their resumes – not necessarily to cash in on game downloads. They worked together to navigate the coding process, as well as all of the requirements for offering it through the Apple and Android app stores.

So as to also add entrepreneurial expertise to their resume, they reached out to the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to make sure that they had a firm grasp on the business-administration side of their new indie game company. The brothers first contacted the SBDC at tax time to double-check their own research regarding how to process their Kickstarter funds for tax purposes. The pair also worked with their SBDC consultant to discuss their options when it came to human resources, and specifically whether or not they should look at adding part-time employees, or if they should utilize independent contractors for certain aspects of the game development process.

Their Penn State SBDC consultant, impressed by all that the brothers had learned and accomplished, asked to highlight the company as an example of the value of entrepreneurial experiences for students. Since first coming to the SBDC in the spring of 2014, the pair has been featured in SBDC student entrepreneurship presentations and at SBDC community events, including Take Your Child to Work Day, where participants were offered a chance to play the game and talk to Dan and Ryan about app and game development and publishing.

The brothers’ work was noticed by the University, and in the spring 2015 semester, Ryan was selected to receive the David Rusenko Entrepreneur-in-Residence Scholarship, which provided him with six independent study credits and $10,000 to help him further the progress of YosuaTreeGames.

The pair has now successfully launched the second version of their eVubble game and is once again working with their SBDC consultant to promote it. The SBDC connected the brothers with a PR professional who managed to interview them and write a story, even though she found the game so hard to put down!