BDC Venture Capital leads financing of new game studio accelerator, Execution Labs

08/11/2012

Unique Venture Backed Incubator Now Taking Applications


Montreal, November 08, 2012
– Today 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.
 
Three game industry veterans are at the helm of the company, which is focused on mid-core and hard-core games for mobile platforms: 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. Well-known as a global hub for game production, Montreal serves as the ideal home base for the company.

“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.

About Executions Labs
Execution Labs is a first-of-its kind, hybrid game incubator and go-to-market accelerator that helps independent game developers produce games and bring them to market. The company's goal is to enable experienced developers to become true entrepreneurs and pursue their dreams of creative independence. It is based in Montreal with a business outpost in San Francisco.

About BDC Venture Capital
At BDC Venture Capital, we help great ideas become great companies. With more than $1 billion in current and planned investments and over 25 years of experience in venture capital, we focus on innovative IT, health and energy/clean technology companies with high growth potential. We work with entrepreneurs and other investors in the public and private sectors to build outstanding Canadian companies, and are involved at every stage of the development cycle, from seed through expansion to exit. Our goal is to deliver excellent return on our investments, while working to create a sound financial ecosystem for Canadian technology ventures.

About Real Ventures
Real Ventures is a seed venture fund based in Montreal which invests alongside entrepreneurs from idea to exit. The Real Ventures fund aims to be first money behind great entrepreneurs and companies in the web, mobile, SaaS, ecommerce, gaming and digital media sectors and to help them achieve their grand vision. For more information visit Realventures.com.

About White Star Capital
White Star Capital is a Guernsey based seed vehicle investing in startups in Canada, the United States, Western and Central Europe, and other high-growth geographies. It invests in new ventures seeking between $250k and $2.5mm in funding in the fields of social media, gaming, and e-commerce. White Star Capital seeks out companies that can be scaled rapidly and internationally, driven by committed and passionate entrepreneurs who can drive highly capital efficient ventures.

About GameStop Digital Ventures
GameStop Digital Ventures (GDV) is the global strategy, M&A and incubation arm of GameStop, the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer. GDV is focused exclusively on innovative game and game-related products, services and technologies worldwide. We look for partnership, acquisition and, in some cases, investment opportunities where we can accelerate the growth of those opportunities through GameStop's global financial, management, retail & digital resources. GDV is based in the SoMA area of San Francisco, California.

- 30 -

Share