Austin entrepreneur releases first of 100 planned business-based games

Aug 19, 2014
Austin Business Journal

Austin serial entrepreneur Gary Hoover has launched his first business-based game after a year of development

Hoover’s latest venture, Bigwig Games Inc., is marketing the first in a planned series of 100 industry-specific, business simulation strategy games. Restaurant Bigwig is for the iPad and now on the Apple Inc. store for $3.99

The game is designed to reflect the actual restaurant industry with results based on real industry data, according to Hoover

Hoover is the founder of Bookstop Inc. and Hoovers Inc., among others. He was also the first entrepreneur in residence at the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas

Within seven years, the startup plans to create 30 games that simulate different industries and can be played on tablet computers such as the iPad. The initial funding by angel investors who are also Hoover friends is being earmarked for research and development, he has said

In January, Bigwig Games reported raising $30,000 of a planned $250,000 financing from three investors, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

In the 1980s, Hoover first hit it big by starting Austin-based book retailer Bookstop. The company grew to operate in Louisiana, Florida and California before it was bought in 1989 by New York-based Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) for $41.5 million. A year later he started Hoovers Inc., his most successful business yet. The business information provider was acquired by Dunn and Bradstreet in 2002 for about $117 million

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