Independent game incubator secures $6 million in funding

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Independent game incubator secures $6 million in funding
Execution Labs is an incubator for independent games and developers based in Montreal, Canada, and it's just raised $6 million CAD in Series A funding led by Toronto media company Corus Entertainment Inc. Execution plans to use the funds to establish two tiers of support for up-and-coming developers: the Pre-Production Accelerator and the Finishing Fund.

The Pre-Production Accelerator is a three-month program that grants new developers up to $50,000 CAD in funding, plus shared workspace and mentorship opportunities for games not yet in full production. The Accelerator is open to international applicants and covers all games, from mobile to PC. To take part in the Accelerator, a studio's core team needs to be in Montreal, but Execution Labs says it takes international studios and will help them get settled. "Your core team needs to be in Montreal for the duration of the program," the FAQ reads. "Part of the experience, especially the learning and teaching part, comes from being in the same physical space. Also there's the office badger."

The Finishing Fund is tailored for experienced developers with games close to completion, offering "substantial funding" for marketing, testing and final production. Execution Labs mentors include Dejobaan Games founder Ichiro Lambe, Microsoft Game Studios founder Ed Fries, Eidos Life President Ian Livingstone, Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail and The Bohle Company President and CEO Sue Bohle.

With the funding, Corus EVP of Strategic Planning and CTO Scott Dyer joins the Execution Labs board. "We look forward to combining Corus' expertise in brand building with Execution Labs' talent for identifying and fostering game developers to create exciting and innovative new intellectual property for the gaming industry," Dyer says in a press release.

Execution Labs is one of a few incubator programs for independent game development: Fire Hose Games is building a developer support program in Boston, Indie Fund regularly picks notable independent games to receive financial support, and Sony's Pub Fund offers developers money and marketing aid.
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Execution Labs Raises $6 Million to Fuel Growth of More Independent Game Studios



Montreal, Canada – November 10, 2014 – Today, game accelerator and investment platform Execution Labs (XL) announced that it has secured a CAD $6 million Series A funding round to bolster its support of emerging independent game studios. The round was led by Toronto-based Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B), one of Canada's leading media companies. Existing investors BDC Capital, Real Ventures and White Star Capital also participated in the round.



As the lead investor, Corus will help Execution Labs build its brand presence in the market, and Scott Dyer, Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning and Chief Technology Officer of Corus Entertainment, will join its board.



With this increased funding commitment, Execution Labs will expand its existing services by offering independent game developers two distinct programs: the Pre-Production Accelerator and the Finishing Fund.



The three-month Pre-Production Accelerator is based in Montreal and will build on Execution Labs' current program by offering up to CAD $50,000 in funding, shared workspace and extensive mentorship opportunities for promising new game studios that have not yet entered the full production phase of game development. This program is open to international applicants and has expanded its scope beyond mobile to accept applications from developers across all game platforms and business models.



The Finishing Fund will provide substantial funding for experienced independent game studios anywhere in the world with games nearing completion, but that require funds and support for final production, testing and marketing. Finishing Fund teams will receive support both from Execution Labs' extensive mentor network and from its in-house experts. This assistance ranges from game design and data analysis to community building and user experience testing.



"The goal of Execution Labs has always been to foster the development of independent game studios, and with the support of our incredibly generous mentor network we've been able to help talented developers launch great games and then go on to set up sustainable studios. With the injection of funds from Corus and our existing partners, we'll be able to keep fueling those new studios while ensuring that the top developers out there continue to get the funding and support they need to launch amazing new games," said Jason Della Rocca, Execution Labs' co-founder.



Said Scott Dyer, "We look forward to combining Corus' expertise in brand building with Execution Labs' talent for identifying and fostering game developers to create exciting and innovative new intellectual property for the gaming industry."



"We are implementing a strategy of supporting innovation clusters where Canada is a global leader, such as in video game production," added Dominique Belanger, Vice President Strategic Investments and Partnerships, BDC Capital. "Our continued support of Execution Labs is one example of such a strategy. Execution Labs is an innovative business creation model that leverages the exceptional expertise developed in Montreal over the past decades."


Studios interested in the Pre-Production Accelerator or the Finishing Fund should apply through the Execution Labs website. Media inquiries can be directed to press@executionlabs.com.
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