Q&A with Student Entrepreneur Network Nirvana

Q&A with Student Entrepreneur Network Nirvana

TJ Nissen is only 20 years old and is already the master of his own world…literally.  The University of Northern Iowa student’s company, Network Nirvana, has created a library of video games and books based in the massive underwater world he created named Adytum.  Currently, he licenses access to this world along with the games and trials within its walls to various libraries in Iowa where he also teaches Minecraft camps and classes, and is starting a class for parents.

I sat down with TJ last week to discuss “his world” and how it came to be.

So what was the dream as a kid?

“I’ve always wanted to start my own business and I loved playing games.  I even would come up with business-models for games since I was six.  I didn’t know they were business models at the time, but they talked about how to sell the game and expansion packs and stuff.”

How did you get started?

“In April 2010 I started working on the idea of Adytum for a high school class project and created maps of this world using Microsoft Excel.  About a year later, I decided I should make this a Minecraft world.  Then the following January I came up with the idea of making the book to tie everything together and remake all of my old maps cleaner.”

You’re a student at UNI, why did you choose there?

“I’m from Evansdale so it was close to home and I really liked their graphic tech program.”

Have you taken advantage of the resources available to you and your business at UNI?

“Absolutely, the UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center has really helped with everything it took to get the business legitimized and official.  It’s hard to explain, but the help is there.  I didn’t know there was so much paperwork involved in running a business.”

Where is this going?

“I’d like to create this world and others on their own platform and we’re looking into some VR (virtual reality) things in the background right now too.”

Joe Bolick, UNI Business and Community Services

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