19th September 2009

Vortex Competition 2009 Open For Business

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Vortex CompetitionToronto – Presented by McLuhan Festival of the Future, The Vortex Competition is a “Dragon’s Den” styled game development event now in its fifth year. Registrants first attend a two day Vortex Boot Camp where they participate in panels and discussions “specifically designed for emerging entrepreneurs in the game industry to provide information and guidance to make their product ready for and a success in the market place.” Once the boot camp is done, participants are given an additional fifteen days to develop their game concepts and submit them for evaluation.

Important dates for the competition:

October 5: Deadline for Boot Camp Registration
October 7 and 8: Boot Camp & Networking Reception
October 23: Deadline for Competition Submissions
October 29: Announcement of Contenders
November 4 – 5: Competition & Awards Gala

Registration fees for the Vortex Boot Camp are as follows:

Boot Camp & Competition – $100.00 (Full Pass – includes Camp, Competition, Reception & Gala)
Boot Camp Registration (No Competition Entry) – $85.00 (includes Reception)
Team Boot Camp & Competition Registration – $85.00 (per team member & is a Full Pass to all events)
Boot Camp Reception & Competition Awards Gala Tickets – $ 60.00
Vortex Webcast Registration – $30.00 (watch the Camp & Competition via internet)

For those who may not be able to afford to enter the competition, the organizers are offering a limited number of scholarships to individuals or companies who meet their criteria. The number of scholarships is limited and will be evaluated on a first come, first served basis. Please submit a statement which outlines the details about you and your team, as well as a description of your project, what you believe you will gain for the Boot Camp and the Competition, and why you should be offered this scholarship.

Speakers for the 2009 Boot Camp are:

Ian Buck – High Road Communications Inc
Vikas Gupta – President & CEO, TransGaming Inc.
Andrea Sheffer – Executive Director, Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund
Blake Lewin – VP, Media and Entertainment Platforms at Turner Broadcasting
Peter Williams – Head of US Business Unit & Chief Strategic Officer, Bamboo Networks (Keynote)
David Woolford – Business Law Partner, Miller Thomson
Rob Sands – Owner, RGS Media

The chosen competitors will then enter one of two tracks – either Prototype or Concept and make their presentations to the jury panel. The presentation will last for ten minutes, followed by twenty minutes of discussion and review with the panel. Two semi-finalists from each category will be chosen. On day two of the judging competition, the four semi-finalists will make ten minute presentations to the panel. The declared winner of the Vortex Competition and will be given their prizes at the Awards Ceremony with Gala to follow. The competition’s organizers are excited to be able to offer this year’s winners mentoring by established industry executives tailored to their needs in addition to cash and other prizes as well as the opportunity to have their games commercialized through a variety of channels.

Jury Panel for the 2009 Vortex Competition:

Yannis Mallat – CEO, Ubisoft Montreal & Ubisoft Toronto
Kevin O’Leary – CBC’s Dragon’s Den
Rita Davies – Executive Director of the Culture Division of the City of Toronto
Mark Montgomery – Product Development Manager, Games & Applications for Telus
Mark Saltzman – Freelance journalist, author, lecturer, consultant, radio and TV personality

Vortex Competition entrants are also encouraged to submit their game concepts to the City of Toronto’s Game Competition, which is being held in to commemorate the city’s 175th birthday. According to the Vortex Competition’s web site, “the City of Toronto is proud to offer all competitors the opportunity to enter their game in a 175th City of Toronto Birthday Videogame Competition. The winning game will be accessible via the City of Toronto’s website which will garner the winner international exposure.” A search of Toronto’s birthday events page did not offer any further information.

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