A new Digital Innovation Contest has been launched, which aims to award £25,000 to five up-and-coming gaming start-ups.
The initiative is being run by IC Tomorrow, a branch of Vince Cable’s Technology Strategy Board, which focuses on connecting start-ups and SMEs with leading commercial partners and investors. The scheme was created in 2010 and previous Contests have targeted industries ranging from fashion to education to horse riding.
To get their hands on the cash, gaming entrepreneurs must propose innovative solutions to five challenges, each set by one of the competition partners: Intel, Google Chrome, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), Crytek UK, Odeon Cinemas and Pinewood Studios.
Sony’s challenge to entrants is to come up with a clever companion app or game for the “second screen”. This fast-growing niche caters to users who consume TV shows, movies, music or video games while also using a smartphone or tablet, reports The Telegraph.
Intel is looking for developers who can create gaming worlds that use face recognition and speech tracking to create an immersive user experience. Richard Huddy, Intel’s European gaming enablement manager, said: “We’re excited about connecting with local, vibrant entrepreneurs and discovering creative new experiences.”
Google Chrome is hoping to crack wider games distribution on the mobile web through its chosen gaming start-up. “This challenge seeks the development of a new service or new interaction that will encourage players to start their games’ sessions with other users with as little effort as possible,” it said in a press release.
Gaming corporation Crytek UK is looking to integrate street map data into its products, while apps and products that fuse games and cinema will get top billing from Odeon Cinemas and Pinewood studios.
The winning start-ups will not only recieve a no-strings cash injection, they will also benefit from the opportunity of working with large and established companies. They will also access resources to help speed up the development of their prototype and find new routes to market.
Matt Sansam, IC tomorrow Programme Manager, said: “This is a great opportunity. The winners get to trial their ideas with some of the key players in the global games arena. They get funding to do this and retain their intellectual property at the end of the process.”