Story by: Anna Barker, MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach
Ryan Gilbrech’s love for gaming led him to create his own company, Meta Games.
The twenty-six-year-old had already earned his undergraduate degree in biological engineering, spent some time working, and then returned to MSU to complete his MBA in August of 2015.
“Both of my parents were Bulldogs,” Gilbrech said. “My dad always joked with me by saying, ‘You can go anywhere in the world, but I’ll pay for MSU.”
As an undergraduate, Gilbrech was introduced to the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach through friends who were working on their own startup.
“That’s how I got my introduction to the E-Center,” Gilbrech recalled. “It was actually the biggest reason that I chose to come back to MSU – I wanted to stay heavily involved with the E-Center.”
Gilbrech was able to do just that through his own startup venture.
“Meta Games is a video game development company,” Gilbrech described.
It was inspired by classic games, such as Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers.
“That’s one of my favorite video game series, and I thought it was such a shame that people aren’t making games like that anymore.” Gilbrech said. “I didn’t have any experience with programming, and I didn’t have any of the skills, but I really wanted this, so I decided to give it a shot.”
The global video games market is projected to bring in nearly 79 billion dollars in revenue this year.
“The MBA program kept me pretty busy, but in my spare time I was able to teach myself about 3-D modeling, programming, and how to animate characters.” Gilbrech said. “A huge milestone was creating my first character and set of animations.”
Gilbrech has created over 100 animations over the past year.
“I think my biggest obstacle was figuring out how to do this on my own and staying motivated,” Gilbrech said. “It’s so different from having someone else to work with and hold you accountable.
“Luckily, if you’re at MSU, you have people like Eric Hill and resources like the E-Center,” Gilbrech said. “It’s their passion and they really set you up for success.”
“There are so many things that you won’t know and you can’t know until you make mistakes,” Gilbrech said. “It’s really important to find a mentor to help you overcome obstacles.”
Gilbrech encourages other aspiring entrepreneurs to find a mentor and encourages MSU students to take advantage of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach.