email Game Dojos or phone 415 513 8701
Q. What are accelerators or incubators?
A. A recent invention to help start-ups, accelerators are most commonly summarized as "college for companies". The idea is to vastly increase a companies chance for success by providing assistance with connections, mentoring advisors, space, funding, and comraderie and focus. Typically there is a demo day once a year to give wide exposure to potential backers. While the funding tends to get the attention, most experienced and successful graduates put greatest value on the connections which can help over an entire career lifetime.
Q. What is the advantage of being in a specialized game accelerator instead of a general accelerator?
A. Games need special help, let's face it. Those of you who have made them know what we are talking about. Most accelerators no matter how prestigious, don't exactly stock up on mentors who are great proven game designers, understand the best "free to play", subscription, or ad monetization techniques, game engines, game distribution networks and cross promotion, or are experts in nursing entertainment IP for starters. Typical good acclerators are expert in the "D" word or "Disruption" but the "E" word "Entertainment", so useful in games, is not as familiar. Even for those companies that are building game platforms or tools or strong gamified apps, good game industry knowledge helps tremendously in understanding which ones work well and why and how to cater to specialized game markets
Q. What does Game Dojo get in return from us?
A. We are, in large parts, a free program for a carefully selected pool of high quality teams who apply. Through Game Dojos, teams get special access with industry leaders, VCs, angels, distributors, and so forth at no cost. In rare instances, Game Dojos will offer to invest in a team through which Game Dojos will act as a normal early investor. Outside of that, we do not ask for a percentage of your company by being part of the Game Dojos program.
Q. How do I apply for Game Dojos?
A. We have a simple Google Form application. It's three questions. People who make long web forms should be arrested! We will be talking to you in person anyway. When in doubt apply and we will try to let you know what is a good fit now or in the future.
Q. What type of games / products do you accept?
A. We will consider games and gamified apps that are mobile, mobile-social, web, TV, downloadable or Xbox Live as well as game related products, portals and platforms that service these areas. At the moment the funding winds blow most strongly in favor of mobile so we want you to participate in that if you can or wish to.
Q. Why are accelerators becoming popular?
A. That is a really good question. Personally, we think one of the reasons for the success beyond the obvious mentorship and funding connections and prestige is because if the companies don't do well by either exiting or making revenue the accelerator typically gets nothing. Therefore accelerators are taking on risk and will try to help the companies succeed long after they leave because it is in their interest to do so. It's effectively like having an extended team.
Q. My team needs some targeted design and monetization help, can I get it at Game Dojos?
A. Absolutely. Game dojos has some of the best in the industry coming to help.
Q. How does being in Game Dojos Accelerator help with game discovery and distribution?
A. Many of the mentors coming are specialists in that area. Even more importantly some own large discovery and distribution networks and you will meet them in the workshops.
Q. How does being in Game Dojos Accelerator help get our team funding?
A. On occasion we will assist in finding and connecting oppropriate teams with VCs, angels, and other emerging methods such as crowd-sourcing. We find it just as important to help teams get in shape to find funding and be self-sustaining on their own by the end of a session.
Q. Can Game Dojos help me get staff on my game?
A. We won't guarantee anything, however we do have good ties to various organizations with interns depending on what you need, and we have the largest outreach in the bay area to the development community along with ties internationally through many of the staffs association with the IGDA and having an international lawfirm represent us.
Q. How long is a session?
A. Each session is for 3 months; extensions are possible for a second session, pending a specific reason for it.
Q. How often do you host seminars and will they be open to the public?
A. Game Dojos seminars are open to public attendance. Teams who are part of Game Dojos will hold first priority during Q&A and are given access to private follow-up sessions with speakers who are open to doing so.
Q. How many teammates should I have?
A. We suggest teams of at a minimum 2 people, at least one of whom can program (and we suggest one of whom can do graphics also). Teams of 3-6 are in a reasonably good position statistically and we also have space for even larger teams of 10-20 if they are proven and more seasoned.
Q. What corporate status do we need?
A. All teams except those who are on the talent for hire track will need to be incorporated and we have some legal services to help get your team incorporated if they are not already.
Q. Do I need to have a published game out right now?
A. While a published game is not necessary, it is definitely a plus. You must at least have excecuted a functional demo of some game before applying.
Q. Can I participate if I have raised funding?
A. Yes, and depending on your situation we may be able to connect you with those in a position to further fund or aquire your team. The design, monetization and distribution help does not change.
Q. Do you provide office space?
A. We have complimentary office space for some of our particpants in San Francisco, Ca and check with us about possibilites for a huge complimentary space for offices Fremont, CA. and a low price option for Mountain View. You are not required to be in these office spaces however it is optimal and one of the reasons incubators work.
Q. Do we have to live in the Bay Area while participating?
A. No although being in the Bay Area is optimal, if you are a very strong or talented team located elsewhere, we can chat with you and see what is possible, including live videoconferencing. We would very much encourage you to take advantage of selected face to face workshops if you are located within a short flight.
Q. Do you provide Visas?
A. Many of our workshop partners do and have hosted teams that need Visas, so depending on your desireability to some of them we will see what we can do. In addition our law partner K&L Gates is extremely strong in international laws. Also 3 months often fits under a visitor Visa so it may be possible for you to get one on your own.
Q. Is there an age limit?
A. All of the team must be 18 years of age or older when applying for the program.