"Star Wars: Rogue Entrepreneur" Tech Talk a Hit

Jan. 20, 2017


The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship went into hyperspace at the Hack Arizona hackathon, a three-day event that brought together over 800 college students from around the world. The McGuire Center participated by providing a tech talk based on innovations and entrepreneurial activities related to Star Wars called "Star Wars: Rogue Entrepreneur," presented by self-proclaimed Star Wars fans Rick Yngve  and Dan Janes.

Rick and Dan provided a great discussion on how George Lucas was an original innovator and entrepreneur in the film industry. Rick highlighted the unexpected path of how Lucas became an entrepreneur and ultimately a legendary filmmaker.

"What gets me excited about Star Wars and movies in general as it relates to entrepreneurship is the absolute commitment to providing a great experience for fans, their customers," Rick said. "George Lucas transformed an entire industry by bringing new technologies to the fan experience, great visual effects, THX sound, and digital film. When you are committed to providing a great product, then even the largest organizations will follow your lead."

Dan spent some time discussing innovative companies like SpheroFaceShiftMagic Leap and other startup companies that have become part of the Star Wars ecosystem. While many see a large organization like Star Wars as inaccessible to startups or young teams, Dan spent time showing how accessible large companies can be to startup companies.

"What is exciting as someone who spends a lot of time with startups is how an iconic brand like Star Wars reaches out to startup companies to deliver innovation," said Dan. "A brand like Star Wars has the ability to attract some of the best people, yet they reach out and engage with many innovative startups that can address specific needs."

For more information on the hackathon, check out this article from the Daily Wildcat , Dan has also written about why hackathons are important for students and highlighted some lessons learned from the most recent Star Wars film, Rogue One.  

"Student feedback on learning about innovation through pop culture like Star Wars has been tremendous," said Rick. "The campus and community can expect even more events this Spring."

If you know of a company, club activity on campus, or any organization that would like to see how movies like Star Wars, Avengers, and even Legos can improve creativity, entrepreneurship, or innovation, the faculty at McGuire love finding new ways to talk about entrepreneurship. To schedule, please send a note to Rick Yngve, yngve@email.arizona.edu.