When Math and Music Add Up

Startup: Alex Bozman at Santa Clarita's Incubator

Startup: Alex Bozman at Santa Clarita’s Incubator

Cellist Alex Bozman, a former engineer, is now an entrepreneur.

BMark Madler
San Fernando Valley Business Journal
Monday, December 15, 2014

Here’s an interesting approach to innovation: Nuhubit Software Studio wants to get the word out that learning can be fun – but is no joke.

The Santa Clarita startup is in the development stage of creating mobile games for smartphones and tablets that reflect the wide musical and mathematical interests of founder Alex Bozman.

While Bozman isn’t releasing details of his first two games, he said the games will facilitate learning by elementary and middle-school children while not disguising the ultimate goal of education.

“It is hard to make well-constructed games that do not feel like the student is being tricked,” said Bozman, 42, who double majored in math and music at Cal Berkeley, teaches the cello and is a former aerospace software engineer.

To create the games, the first of which could be ready for spring release, the Newhall resident turned to SpriteKit game development software from Apple, which speeded up the process and eliminates the need for a team of game designers.

“It allows software engineers to do things that would have been too hard for a single person,” said Bozman, who is self-funding his business and figures he has spent only about $1,000 so far.

He also applied for and was chosen to be one of four entrepreneurial ventures at a business incubator that the city of Santa Clarita and the Small Business Development Center at College of the Canyons is opening next month.

Bozman and the other startups will have cubicles to work from and access to mentoring and other resources through the Small Business Development Center. “Working in an environment where you do interesting and exciting work together is different than being alone and struggling to make it,” he said.

The Santa Clarita incubator is in a former library building in the Old Town Newhall neighborhood. The city spent $200,000 in renovations, included installation of high-speed broadband.

Andree Wolper, a city economic development associate, said office space is provided free for six months and then at a nominal rate afterward, with no limit on tenancy. “Historically most businesses stay in an incubator one to two years,” she said.

In addition to Nuhubit, the other startups are Kovariant LLC, which is creating a portfolio of cloud-based tools for the television and advertising industries; Thinkquarium, an entertainment mobile technology application developer; and Your Village, an online service providing parenting tools including videos, articles and workshops.

Steve Tannehill, executive director of the Small Business Development Center, said a key criterion in choosing the entrepreneurs was their background and qualifications to serve their markets.

Bozman, for example, not only has his Cal Berkeley degrees but played lead cello in a symphony orchestra. “I think they are innovative, but just all at an early stage,” Tannehill added.

– Mark R. Madler

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