Execution Labs, a hybrid incubator and accelerator for indie mobile game developers, today announced it’s re-opening applications for experienced Canadian game developers to go indie.
Execution Labs co-founder and former OpenFeint vice president of monetization Keith Katz told Inside Mobile Apps that the company started in Montreal because there’s a lot of gaming talent there, especially in light of the recent layoffs at video game studios in the city like THQ, EA and Funcom.
“If we at Execution Labs are going to be a force for creating a new paradigm in different markets for the way game development works, then we had to take a step back and say, ‘do we double down here and show that we are putting our money where our mouths are?'” he says. “That’s what were going to do by opening it up. It’s more risky for us to burn more money and bring down more teams, but it was something, in good conscious, that we had to do. Strategically, it happens to benefit us because there is good talent that could use a spot to land.”
Originally, the Montreal-based Execution Labs only planned for five teams to join the program as part of the first batch. The five teams of Canadian indie developers chosen back in January were Crankshaft Mobile, Pixel Crucible, Lightning Rod Games, Missellaneum and Imaginary Games, with three of those teams coming from Montreal, one from Vancouver and one from Toronto. In addition to office space, teams in the program receive help to developer their own game and eventually their own startup mobile game studio. Teams are also assigned mentors who provide coaching in game development and commercialization.
“We couldn’t be happier with the talent that we brought in,” he says. “They are now about two months into the program and the strides they’ve made are impressive. We’re happy with how they’ve progressed.”
Execution Labs’ investors says the company has the financial flexibility to go forward with re-opening the program earlier than expected, Katz says. Execution Labs received $1.4 million in seed round funding back in Nov. 2012 from BDC Venture Capital, Real Ventures, White Star Capital represented by Eric Martineu-Fortin and Taiwan-based angel investors Jimmy Foo and Richard Woo. Katz adds that Execution Labs will be raising another round of funding soon.
“It is earlier than we thought, but at the same time, if we are trying to build a new paradigm, it was imperative that we went ahead and bit the bullet,” he says.
Execution Labs recently announced its Lab Partners program, which will allow mobile indie game developers to connect with similar developers, establishing cross-promotion deals. Developers who join the program can also utilize mobile game cross-promotion service Chartboost’s Direct Deals feature to acquire users. Interested developers can go here to learn more.
Canadian developers interesting in the Execution Labs’ program can apply here.