Cogswell College Student Eric Tran Selected as Semi-Finalist in Prestigious Entrepreneurship Competition

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Dec. 20, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cogswell College (, one of the world's leading regionally-accredited institutions offering a unique curriculum that fuses digital arts, engineering and entrepreneurship, today announced that Eric Tran, a bachelor of arts student in the Entrepreneurship program, has been selected as a semi-finalist in the Student Startup Madness Tournament, a nationwide tournament-style competition for college student digital media startups. The tournament challenges college students with unique concepts for startup businesses to compete against one another by pitching their ideas to a panel of real investors and entrepreneurs.

Tran's company, Parallel Players LLC, makes games that help people make and maintain healthy behavior choices through meaningful game incentives. In order to achieve these objectives, the player's avatar becomes more powerful each time the player chooses healthy activities. The game's primary audience is diabetics whose self-care is critical in order to reduce their risk of serious health issues like kidney disease or blindness. Tran's Parallel Players LLC was also chosen as a finalist at the National Elevator Pitch Competition in Chicago in early November.

"The Student Startup Madness Tournament is a great proving ground for evaluating the viability of my business plan," said Tran. "It's also an environment that rigorously tests the myriad skills I'm learning as an entrepreneurship student at Cogswell College. The experience of pitching my own business to successful entrepreneurs and investors has given me invaluable insight into the reality of getting a startup off the ground."

Of the 64 startup teams that took part in the competition, 32 teams have advanced to compete at the regional level. Two teams will emerge from each of the four regional competitions and form the 'Entrepreneurial Eight' who will then be invited to pitch their businesses at the national finals on March 11, 2013 in conjunction with South By Southwest Interactive (SXSW). SXSW is a dynamic event held each year in Austin, Texas. The conference is a convergence of film, music, technology and professional growth.

"Our Entrepreneurship program actively engages our students in experiential learning, both inside and especially outside the classroom," said Debby Hindus, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Programs at Cogswell College. "Consequently, we're not surprised that Eric has made it this far in the Student Startup Madness Tournament. His tenacity and creativity, coupled with the entrepreneurial skill set he has gained at Cogswell will serve him well as he progresses to the semifinals."

About Cogswell College

Located in Sunnyvale, Calif., in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Cogswell College is an accredited four-year institution of higher education with a curriculum that fuses art, engineering and entrepreneurship ( As one of the Bay Area's premier colleges, its novel academic approach offers an integrated model that emulates the industry environment—a collaborative, project-based, learning approach that uses multidisciplinary teams to take projects from concept through the delivery pipeline.

CONTACT: Bonnie Phelps Cogswell College 408-498-5145 Kimberly Hathaway Gallagher Group Communications 415-994-1097Source:Cogswell College