Canadian game startups can look forward to receiving private support from a Montreal incubator program announced at a video game finance conference in Toronto.
The FounderFuel accelerator program by Montreal venture capital group Real Ventures will launch this summer, said Mark McLeod, a partner at FounderFuel. He addressed more than 200 game developers, executives and financiers attending the two-day GameON Finance conference.
The effort shows that the Canadians are bent on embracing games as a way to create new startups and jobs through financing and incentives. In fact, the Canadians have launched an all-out effort to lure American game companies, giving incentives. Electronic Arts and THQ are among those building big game studios in Canada as a result. With FounderFuel, small companies can benefit from Canada’s interest in games as well.
The program lasts for 12 weeks. It offers funding up to $50,000 and mentorship to test the viability of ideas and teams chosen to participate in the accelerator, McLeod said.
The planned incubator rounds out Real Ventures’ investment profile, which is focused on software-based Internet, mobile, digital media, social and casual gaming startups. So far, the young venture firm has invested in two startups, Fabric Technologies and email platform DokDok.
Reached in Germany after the conference, McLeod confirmed that the accelerator would tap funds from Real Ventures’ existing $45 million seed fund.
“What we don’t know yet is whether we will run separate sessions for Web apps and games or one blended session,” McLeod said.
Real Ventures launched its fund in October 2010, aimed at providing seed capital to startups that require less than $1 million — especially those that need than $500,000 — to go from concept to confirming a business model. The venture capital and private equity partnership evolved out of the $5 million Montreal Startup fund, initiated by a group of the city’s entrepreneurs.