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03-13-2007

Clarkson Freshman Brian Senesac Presents Virtual Clarkson Apparel In Second Life

[A photograph is available for media use at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/senesac.jpg]

Clarkson University School of Business freshman Brian Senesac has combined his computer design, open source programming and business skills to establish himself as an innovator in Second Life, a Web-based virtual "metaverse" with more than three million "Lifer" residents and daily commercial transactions of more than $1 million U.S. senesac

Inspired by discussions in his freshman business course in Innovation and Entrepreneurship on how traditional marketing techniques are evolving rapidly to include Internet-driven multidimensional campaigns, Senesac purchased property in Second Life, assumed a virtual identity and began looking for opportunities to develop a profitable virtual business.

His keen interest in the site grew when Linden Labs CFO and Clarkson Alumnus John Zdanowski '89 returned to campus last month. "Linden Labs has been generating headlines in all the major business publications for the company's development of Second Life," says Senesac. "I wanted to find out more about the people who are driving the site's success and changing the way companies are marketing their products and services online."

The Web-based platform, touting some of the most visually advanced graphics and user-driven interfaces in the online gaming industry, has drawn the attention of major corporations including American Apparel, Scion, Cisco, Adidas and Reebok, Pontiac, Nissan and Toyota, among others, which have purchased virtual land to market virtual goods, with the ultimate goal of increasing brand recognition among Lifers.

Demonstrating value to potential employers, advice he learned from instructors early in his Clarkson experience, Senesac was quick to demonstrate the skills Linden Labs is seeking. He created a virtual Clarkson T-shirt and hockey jersey as an official thank you gift to Zdanowski for his campus visit and his virtual alter-ego (in Lifer lingo an "Avatar") presented the gift, Clarkson's first official emblemized virtual ware, to Zdanowski's Avatar online. As visitors to the site can attest, there have been numerous sightings of Zdanowski's avatar donning his alma mater in this newsworthy-virtual parallel universe.

Clarkson's program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship is ranked #22 in the nation by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review. The School of Business focus provides an experiential approach to the process of fostering, developing and propelling innovative products and services into commercialization and in the creation of value-added new ventures.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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