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Play it, Game it

11 February 2013

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Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture Series: Lisa Long
In business Lisa Long does not play games: she makes them. After graduating in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and specialising in medical issues, she earned an MBA from INSEAD. Lisa’s move from engineering to business was quick and early.

Canadian by birth, she worked in Silicon Valley for the first five years of her career, an environment she describes as “small and incestuous when it comes to start up companies”. She was employed by Calico, Nereid, Motive where she learnt all the secrets and tricks of entrepreneurship. The following ten years were spent in the UK, where her first success was the games company Six to Start.

Three were the co-founders of Six to Start: Lisa, her partner and Lisa’s best friend, Luck. It was through Luck that Lisa met her partner: at a party, soon after she had moved to England, conversing about puzzles and treasure hunts. About a week later, the two-people team was creating Mind Candy, now one of the “fastest growing social online gaming companies” in the world. It was a race, straight from the start: in order to raise money to develop new games, the team used Kickstarter and kept leading the game. Recently, games requests have been made by Ebay, BBC and Channel 4. Lisa plays along, and for these she thanks again precious Luck, though we suspect –by now- that a fourth team player should be counted in, the true friend Skill…

Lisa’s current start up is Soniqplay, a company which provides an audio application platform. Asked to recount her biggest success, she names “Zombies, Run!” a game launched in February 2012 with over 250 000 downloads and several awards nominations. Lisa now mentors for Seedcamp and teaches at UCL for the MSt in Entrepreneurship; in terms of the future, we can tell she’ll keep playing, though the moves of her game remain unforeseeable.

Written by Carolina Mostert

The UCL Entrepreneurship Guest Lectures are organised by UCL Advances which is affiliated to UCL Enterprise