Pilon School of Business
Degree: Business Administration - Accounting
Year of graduation: 1996
Most accountants likely don’t dream of starting gaming companies, but then again, most accountants aren’t Dave Miller. The 1996 Faculty of Business graduate spent years in the corporate world of accounting before launching his Microsoft-sponsored company We Got Game!
A self-described ‘non-gamer’, Dave says the idea for the company came from watching his then-sixteen year old nephew and friends participating in a two-day gaming event. “I was criticizing them for playing too many video games; telling them to get a life,” he explains. “But as I saw how intrigued they were, I started questioning: ‘if this was a business, would it succeed?’”
The answer is clearly, yes. In January 2014, We Got Game! gained a partnership with Microsoft, through no small effort from Dave and his dedicated staff of five. The company specializes in hosting corporate, college/university, and other organized gaming events across Ontario (including events at Sheridan.) The company also recently started an initiative called the Campus Gaming League, where colleges can qualify to have We Got Game! gaming hardware installed at their campus, and participate in events internally and at an inner-campus level.
Dave’s devotion to We Got Game! goes well beyond the business side. His main motivation comes from the entertainment and enjoyment his work allows him and his team to bring to others. “We teach people that it’s not only the game that really makes it fun; it’s their involvement and interaction playing against colleagues.” In turn, he adds, “My job is so enjoyable that it feels like it’s not work.”
Before coming to Sheridan, Dave had never taken an accounting course, and a post- secondary education was not a dream of his. “When I was in high school, my grades weren’t great, because there was no motivation.” But soon after enrolling at the college, he realized he’d have to work hard to succeed, and his efforts caught the attention of his (ironically named) accounting teacher, Professor Miller. “It was a life-changer for me, having a teacher notice my potential and tell me they see my future in accounting,” Dave says. That influence drove him “to make whatever I touch or am involved with succeed.”
Dave applies that positive attitude to his own accounting consulting company which he runs alongside We Got Game! Starting his own companies has allowed him to create a more comfortable balance in his life, he says. “In the corporate world, I was working ten, twelve-hour days, and my young kids were growing up before my eyes.”
Dave has gone on to become a motivating force for others within his family. His nephew, Tayshun Ally, who provided the original inspiration for We Got Game!, is studying at Sheridan and now works for the company.
More about Sheridan’s Bachelor of Business Administration-Accounting.