Meet Steven Hlavac, founder of Safest Games! Safest Games is a video game review platform that provides objective journalistic content on a variety of genres.
Steven is a recent CU Boulder alumni. He came to Boulder for his graduate degree in Journalism and Entrepreneurship. The idea to become an entrepreneur had not crossed Steven’s mind until later in his educational career. In 2020, Steven applied for funding through CU Boulder’s micro-funding opportunity for students, Get Seed Funding, with another venture titled Distance Media. While Steven did not receive funding for his venture at the time, he took this as an opportunity to change entrepreneurial direction to begin his video game impressions platform, Safest Games.
About Safest Games
With the philosophy that “life is too short to play bad games,” Safest Games is a video game impression platform that saves gamers time, energy, and money by providing context and an overview of each game. The Safest Games team plays and reviews a variety of games created by smaller companies and indie artists. They film their experiences and first impressions of these games and upload a short video with a brief description.
When Steven’s initial request for seed funding was denied, he spent time researching his next move. Having been enrolled in entrepreneurship courses at CU Boulder, Steven turned to his professors and peers. He was recommended a book titled Fail Fast, Fail Often which inspired him to take risks and pursue any idea that came to him. Steven identified his passion for gaming and took into account his involvement in play-testing communities and his love for journalism. Combining all these passions, Steven realized the potential that lies within the gaming industry and created Safest Games!
The Safest Games team includes Steven, Jasmine Beveridge, Aaron Kuthoor, and Jordan Cela. The team collaborates across the US from Colorado, Texas, to New York!
When Steven’s previous venture was denied funding, he was set back tremendously and forced to redirect his entrepreneurial energy. This was a challenge for him, however, Steven was able to quickly identify several interests of his that he could combine to create Safest Games.
Steven also found that a difficult part of starting a business is filtering through your ideas and focusing on one project at a time.
As the Safest Games platform grows, Steven hopes to host a game key giveaway where several lucky subscribers can win access to free games. He is also working on creating a newsletter for Safest Games’ subscribers!
Advice for Current Students
While at CU Boulder, Stephen was given guidance through his capstone advisor, Ross Taylor, and found a venture funding internship through George Deriso at the Deming Center which helped him learn about private equity. Eventually, they were able to have an angel investor for 5% equity. Steven provides the following advice for students,
“If you’re stuck or in a position of failure, step back and reevaluate where your passions lie. If you focus on what you love to do and what you’re already doing, great ideas will arise and you’re more likely to be successful. Also, go for whatever it is that you want to pursue because if you’re not trying, you’re automatically failing. It’s also important to reach out to people and make connections. Everyone here at CU Boulder wants to see you succeed."
If you are interested in learning more about Safest Games and what they have to offer to the gaming community, check out their website!