Sim Ops Studios

Sim Ops Studios

Entrepreneur: Shanna Tellerman, 28

Funding: $3 million from funds that include SK Telecom Ventures and Levensohn Venture Partners

Begun in labs at Carnegie Mellon University, Sim Ops designs free, easy-to-use tools that help developers create 3D games and make money from them—for instance, by selling virtual goods such as weapons and outfits. The company, whose software was released in a Beta test a month ago, hopes to make money by sharing revenue generated by the developers who use it.

Lessons learned: "Investors are looking for capital-effective companies," Tellerman says. "You've got to be fast, hungry, and really lean, with fast time to revenue."