There’s a new incubator opening its door in Montreal, Execution Labs made the announced that new program will look to play home to 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 program is spearheaded by Jason Della Rocca (industry consultant and Former Director of the International Game Developers Association) and Alexandre Pelletier-Normand (recent head of deployment at Gameloft) in Montreal, and 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.”
Execution Labs has also raised $1.4 million in funding to help back the accelerator, 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.