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Startup Competition Guide

110799

Accelerators targeting gaming companies

They include The Bakery Start Programme, GameFounders and Indie Games Accelerator

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
October 12, 2018
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/4c57

For startups, there are numerous paths for getting their name out there. One way, which Vator has been covering recently, are startup competitions, but another popular method to get a foot in the door, as well as some funding and traction, are accelerators. These are programs that provide companies advice, guidance and various forms of support for startups in their early stages. They also often invest in the companies, for a certain equity stake.

Need a list of startup competitions, challenges, accelerators, etc. from around the world? Check out VatorX. You can find them, or list yours!

There are some very well-known accelerators out there, including Y Combinator and 500 Startups, which have made their names through various successful alumni. Those programs fairly general, accepting companies from a variety of different spaces. 

For some companies, it may help to join an accelerator that only focuses on their specific area. That's especially true for those in more specialized spaces, which will have their own unique challenges and regulations.

Here are some of the accelerators that are focused specifically on mentoring companies in the gaming space:

"The Bakery has set up the Start Programme to enable you to build companies that respond to immediate challenges faced by industry today. We give you exclusive access to the key stakeholders – the decision makers and people who matter – within corporates who possess decades of industry experience. Through joining Start you’ll go through a journey to discover the sector’s true pain points, while at the same time securing the best footing available upon which to start a company, solving real market needs."

Investment amount: £1,500 / m stipend and own 100% of your company

Program benefits: 

  • We’ve found real corporate pain points that businesses are ready to commit money to solve, right now.
  • Start gives entrepreneurs a better chance to succeed by de-risking and accelerating the process to product market fit.
  • The Bakery has global connections across the corporate and startup ecosystem – providing you with access to an unrivalled network of people to work with throughout every stage of the journey.
  • Inside the corporate we’ve unlocked assets that will accelerate your product development. From datasets, distribution networks, celebrity endorsements, to the corporate backend systems – we have it covered.
  • Start brings together the best people to work with – talented co-founders, designers, a cross section of industry-leading mentors and subject matter experts – all under one roof.
  • The incubation programme in London pays a monthly stipend and provides office space to support you during the early stages of your company.

Portfolio companies: Not specified

 

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"We accelerate teams or companies with two or more person with launched games/demos/slices from any country in the world."

Investment amount: $25,000 of max investment

Program benefits: The program is 3 months long and provides mentoring for your team to improve their business and game quality skills by over 60 top industry mentors, weekly pitch practice, playtesting, field trips to successful game studios and at the end of the program, demo days where you will get the chance to pitch to our global network of investors and publishers.

Mentor makeup: Scott Foe, Tommy Palm, Rami Ismail, Ilari Kuittinen, Wilhelm Taht, Tim Symons

Portfolio companies: Missingames, PlanB Labs, Quickfire Games, Retora Black 

 

 

"Indie Games Accelerator is a four month program for top indie game startups from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam who are looking to supercharge their growth on Android. This is a special edition of the Launchpad Accelerator program, designed in close collaboration with Google Play, featuring a comprehensive gaming curriculum and mentorship from top mobile gaming experts."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits: 

  • Invitation to attend 2 all-expense-paid* gaming bootcamps at Google Asia HQ in Singapore
  • Personalized mentorship from top experts from Google and the gaming industry
  • Opportunity to be showcased on Google Play
  • 1 Google Pixel phone
  • US$ 20,000 in Google Cloud Platform and Firebase credits**, with training and support
  • Invitation to attend Google Playtime 2018 in Singapore. Playtime is an invitation-only event for top apps and games developers on Google Play
  • Delegate pass to Google I/O 2019***
  • Invitation to a Unity “Unite” event of your choice in SEA or India 

Mentor makeup: Noah Falstein, Serena Shih, Mark Skaggs, Jaede Tan

Portfolio companies: Bit Egg, Bombay Play, Lucid Labs, Threye Interactive

 

"Carbon is a games incubator/accelerator with the mission to support independent game developers in crafting and distributing their games. Carbon’s focus is on under-served yet high-potential regions, such as Eastern Europe or Latin America."

Investment amount: Carbon doesn’t commonly take equity or ownership. Your company will remain 100% independent. Therefore, our business model is based strictly on revenue-share: we share the risk with you and we are committed to help you succeed up to the product’s completion, and further.

Program benefits: There are three service tiers. On the basic level, you get mentorship, access to our contact network, admin services and working space & equipment. Second tier gives you access to development services, sponsorship for industry events, PR and publishing services.. Third tier includes development funding of up to 50,000 USD, either as a development grant or through rented development resources. In exchange for those services, you agree to give Carbon 10%, 20% or 30%, respectively, of the game’s revenues.

Mentor makeup: Dan Teodorescu, Ionut Gabriel Solomon, Nicolae Berbece, Jaime Gine, Gabriel Stancu

Portfolio companies: Fort Triumph, Rumble Heroes, Gray Dawn

 

 

"SPARK startup accelerates startup teams with a great business idea and takes them on an exciting entrepreneurial journey. The industries of our focus are Gaming & Sports Data, IoT & Big Data, and Digital Media & E-Commerce."

Investment amount: Not specified 

Program benefits: 

  • For nine months, all members of SPARK startup programs can use space and all the software and hardware equipment needed for product development.
  • Once a week, startups attend workshops on topics from the startup world, product development, business models, marketing, sales, finance, and global market.
  • At least once a month we organize various events, all with one goal – education of our startups, young and enterprising people from our neighborhood. These are conferences, workshops, meetings, competitions, hackathons, forums, teambuilding events and the like. 
     
  • Our general partner Sportradar provides valuable data to SPARK startups, namely for over 300,000 professional sports events every year, for over 40 different sports. That’s not only fixtures and results but many other real-time data points which provide virtually unlimited possibilities to analyse, compare performances and create engaging solutions.

Mentor makeup: Keith Ippel, Boris Golob, Helen Tung, Ljuba Youngblom

Portfolio companies: Cabbage Games, Vizion

 

"Stugan is a non-profit accelerator program for talented game developers, helping new teams and individuals to realise their wildest game ideas. Spend two months of your life in the woods, far away from civilization building the game of your dreams."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits: During your eight weeks in the cabin, you will work on your game with the aim to reach your goal, as described in your pitch. Your goal can be a demo, a Kickstarter build or why not a game ready for release - it's up to you.

You will work and live in the cabin, which also have a dining area as well as bedrooms and leisure areas. Visitors from the game industry will frequently visit to inspire and get inspired. We aim to get some of the most influential game developers in Scandinavia, and from the rest of the world, to visit Stugan.

Portfolio companies: Secret Legend, Caves, Heat Signature, Astromantica

 

"Think your game idea or project is worth sharing with the world and has 'hit game' potential? Test it out and fine-tune your business game plan at Alpha Startups: Game Edition."

Investment amount: 

  • Top 5 Teams will receive RM30,000 in funding to refine their product even further in preparation for Demo Day (1 month after completing their 5-day course)
  • The Top 2 Demo Day Pitches will further receive RM50,000 in funding, which will be used to help teams launch their Crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter or Indiegogo
  • Winning teams will receive ample Media Coverage to highlight their exciting journey and games
  • If the winning teams' Crowdfunding campaigns prove successful, game startups might receive further seed funding of RM50,000 to RM200,000

Program benefits: 

  • Teams spend time with renowned game industry mentors to refine their idea and build their MVP: E.g., game developers, publishers, designers and sound engineers
  • Startups learn how to build on two crucial gaming success factors: Fun and Retention
  • Game developers are taught the business side of things: including finding and growing the market, plus monetization strategies

Portfolio companies: Not specified

 

"Play Labs is a startup incubator/accelerator program for startups on campus at MIT in the summer  using playful technologies in any industry. Playful technologies come in many forms, including Digital Currency/Blockchain, eSports, Video Games,  Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, 3d Modeling, Gamification, AI & Machine Learning, Media Visualization and Streaming."

Investment amount: Every team accepted into Play Labs will receive $20k at the start of the program in exchange in for 6% common equity as our standard participation method.  Startups that have raised more than $100k already or have more than $100k in annual revenues may be eligible for our alternative participation methods.

This money will help the team get through the summer, and each company that graduates will be eligible for a follow on investment of up to $80k as part of a follow-on seed round, which is typically done as a convertible note. Startups will need to meet certain criteria in their seed round for the follow-on investment.

Program benefits: Launching a startup can be a herculean task; making it successful can be even more challenging!  Many MIT alumni and members of the community have started, funded, grown and sold their companies. Play Labs is designed to help you get your company off the ground and on the right trajectory to success with advice, hands-on mentorship, financing and more.  Play Labs can also help your company get exposure within the VC and investment community; because of our affiliation with MIT we are watched closely by many investment professionals.

Portfolio companies: Esports One, Total Respawn

 

"Stadia Ventures is the global Sports Innovation Hub for entrepreneurs, industry partners and investors.

We create an ecosystem for sports innovation growth by leveraging our team’s core strengths: education, investment, network, and industry expertise."

Investment amount: A $100,000 equity investment

Program benefits: Stadia Accelerator helps established sports & eSports startups get to the next level through the combination of up to a $100,000 equity investment, intensive mentoring, and connections to the top sports & eSports business executives in the country. We leverage our network of industry executives that include senior leaders at teams, leagues, sponsors, game developers, publishers, manufacturers, marketers, investors, business services, etc. We finish the delivery by helping companies close their next deal, land their next investment round, or find their exit partner. Our success is determined by our cohort’s financial success!

Mentor makeup: Craig Cerrana, Mike Chaffin, Chris Chaney, Bob Kerch, Rob Reeg

Portfolio companies: Spalk, Rookies, GamerzArena

(Image source: technotification.com)

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