CIE » Newsroom » Student’s car accident inspires career as inventor of role-playing game tech

NEWSROOM

Student’s car accident inspires career as inventor of role-playing game tech

social media

Annabelle Collins had a clear line of sight of her future career. She was working towards a PhD in Science at the University of Auckland, developing new antibiotics for tuberculosis with computational modelling of enzymes. Her clear path was wrecked by a devastating car accident that resulted in a substantial head injury, and Annabelle had to pause her PhD on health grounds. “My brain just wouldn’t work the way it used to”, she says.

While rehabilitating, Annabelle returned to the comfort and fun of role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. She considered ways to enhance the experience of players and imagined the equipment she would like to see created – highly detailed magnetic, interlocking, reversible terrain tiles. Annabelle approached the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship initially to apply to take part in its Summer Lab student entrepreneurship programme. She discovered a whole new world of opportunities through the Centre. Encouraged by the staff there, Annabelle was taught how to use a Lean Canvas business planning template, the start of her new business Modular Realms. She has also had an opportunity to pitch to an investment committee and built prototype tiles using the Centre’s innovation hub and maker space, Unleash Space.

Annabelle says “Using the maker space and prototyping has used an entirely different part of my brain, especially the spatial CAD modelling for my prototype. It’s been really satisfying seeing my idea come to life”.

Sean Kelly, Unleash Space Manager says that he has been impressed with Annabelle’s talents. “Annabelle has picked up the technical skills required for prototyping really quickly and has a solid understanding of what might appeal to her target market. As well as being an inventor she is also a brilliant storyteller. She took some of us through a game to test her prototype and it was enormous fun. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages”.

Annabelle’s passion project is validated as a business enterprise with the increasing popularity of board games. The global market value of board games, alternatively known as tabletop games, was estimated to be around 7.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 and is forecast to reach a value of 12 billion U.S. dollars by 2023.

Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Wendy Kerr says that Annabelle’s aptitude and attitude is inspirational. “In the wake of an event that could have shaken some people’s confidence, Annabelle has forged a new path for herself. She has adapted her research skills for business purposes and demonstrates the sort of tenacity and optimism essential for undertaking entrepreneurship.”

Modular Realms magnetic tiles will be on sale via a Kickstarter campaign from March 24.

www.modularrealms.com

James Hutchinson
James Hutchinson

social media

Annabelle Collins had a clear line of sight of her future career. She was working towards a PhD in Science at the University of Auckland, developing new antibiotics for tuberculosis with computational modelling of enzymes. Her clear path was wrecked by a devastating car accident that resulted in a substantial head injury, and Annabelle had to pause her PhD on health grounds. “My brain just wouldn’t work the way it used to”, she says.

While rehabilitating, Annabelle returned to the comfort and fun of role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. She considered ways to enhance the experience of players and imagined the equipment she would like to see created – highly detailed magnetic, interlocking, reversible terrain tiles. Annabelle approached the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship initially to apply to take part in its Summer Lab student entrepreneurship programme. She discovered a whole new world of opportunities through the Centre. Encouraged by the staff there, Annabelle was taught how to use a Lean Canvas business planning template, the start of her new business Modular Realms. She has also had an opportunity to pitch to an investment committee and built prototype tiles using the Centre’s innovation hub and maker space, Unleash Space.

Annabelle says “Using the maker space and prototyping has used an entirely different part of my brain, especially the spatial CAD modelling for my prototype. It’s been really satisfying seeing my idea come to life”.

Sean Kelly, Unleash Space Manager says that he has been impressed with Annabelle’s talents. “Annabelle has picked up the technical skills required for prototyping really quickly and has a solid understanding of what might appeal to her target market. As well as being an inventor she is also a brilliant storyteller. She took some of us through a game to test her prototype and it was enormous fun. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages”.

Annabelle’s passion project is validated as a business enterprise with the increasing popularity of board games. The global market value of board games, alternatively known as tabletop games, was estimated to be around 7.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 and is forecast to reach a value of 12 billion U.S. dollars by 2023.

Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Wendy Kerr says that Annabelle’s aptitude and attitude is inspirational. “In the wake of an event that could have shaken some people’s confidence, Annabelle has forged a new path for herself. She has adapted her research skills for business purposes and demonstrates the sort of tenacity and optimism essential for undertaking entrepreneurship.”

Modular Realms magnetic tiles will be on sale via a Kickstarter campaign from March 24.

www.modularrealms.com


EMAIL
CIE@AUCKLAND.AC.NZ

PHONE
09 923 4526

NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

POSTAL ADDRESS
THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND BUSINESS SCHOOL
PRIVATE BAG 92019, AUCKLAND