Montreal-based Execution Labs announced that it is taking applications for its unique incubator for independent game developers. The new venture is a first-of-its-kind hybrid game incubator and go-to-market accelerator designed to help teams of experienced game developers create and launch their own games and spin out into startup game studios. The primary focus is on those who wish to develop mid-core and hard-core games for mobile platforms.
Well-known as a global hub for game production, Montreal serves as the ideal home base for the company, which has three game industry veterans are at its helm:
- Jason Della Rocca (industry consultant and former director of the International Game Developers Association)
- Alexandre Pelletier-Normand (recent head of deployment at Gameloft) in Montreal
- Keith Katz (recent VP Monetization at OpenFeint, acquired last year by GREE) in San Francisco
“The diversity of new gaming platforms and business models has created a ton of opportunity for developers, but navigating this crazy space can be a really daunting prospect for small indies,” commented Della Rocca. “The Execution Labs model is designed to make things much more manageable for indies from both a creative and business perspective. Ultimately, we want to foster a new wave of game entrepreneurs who own and control their IP.”
BDC Venture Capital led this seed round, with Real Ventures and White Star Capital – represented by Eric Martineau-Fortin – as co-investors. Taiwan-based investors Jimmy Foo and Richard Wu provided additional funding.
“Canada is a game industry hotbed, with tremendous development talent from coast to coast,” said Dominique Bélanger, Director, Strategic Initiatives and Investments at BDC Venture Capital. “Part of our strategy is to support cutting-edge early-stage initiatives just like this one. Execution Labs is a very promising platform for harnessing the creativity of independent game developers and speeding their growth into commercially viable studios that can blossom into major worldwide players.”
Teams selected by Execution Labs will get seed funding, shared office space, development tools, and access to a roster of world-class mentors who will provide coaching in areas critical to game development and commercialization. Unlike traditional incubators, teams will not be forced to leave after a few months. Instead, they’ll be given marketing dollars and support in customer acquisition and live operations. They can stay in the program until their game gets market traction and they’re ready to form their own studio.
Execution Labs also announced a marketing partnership with GameStop, the world’s largest multichannel video game retailer. Chris Petrovic, GM of GameStop Digital Ventures, added “As our customers engage in more forms of gaming, GameStop can use its global market presence to support games developed through Execution Labs.”
Execution Labs will also provide legal guidance and help line up funding from early-stage investors for those studios that spin out, leaving the teams to focus on what they do best: making great games. In exchange for all the help and financing it provides, Execution Labs gets an equity and revenue share commensurate with its level of investment in each team.
Execution Labs is currently taking applicants from Canada, and plans to accept international applicants in the future. To learn more about the program and to apply, game developers can visit http://executionlabs.com/en/apply.