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We received dozens of quality startup applicants to the GamesBeat 2014 Who’s Got Game Innovation Showdown, one of the highlights of VentureBeat’s sixth annual gaming conference (Sept. 15-16 at the Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel in San Francisco).
We’ve narrowed the pool down to seven finalists who will present their innovative products or services on stage on day two of GamesBeat 2014. They’ll each have 5 minutes to sell our expert panel of judges on how their companies embody, enable, or amplify the very best new ideas in and around gaming. The winner will get to go through a bootcamp training at accelerator YetiZen. For more information please visit www.yetizen.com/bootcamp.
The criteria include the freshness of the idea, innovation, and potential for business success.
Our all-star panel includes:
Dan “Shoe” Hsu, moderator and tie-breaker vote. Shoe is editor-in-chief of GamesBeat.
Sana Choudary, CEO of YetiZen
Michael Chang, Managing Director, Mavent Partners
Eric Goldberg, managing director at Crossover Technologies
Ann Burkett, venture partner with F50 Venture
After reviewing the applicants, Chang said, “We are pleased to select these finalists from a strong pool of gaming studios and infrastructure providers, as they provide their insights on how to succeed in this rapidly changing and highly competitive market.”
See the Innovation Showdown finalists below, and make sure to register for GamesBeat today.
1. Chobolabs — This startup studio is working on a competitive multiplayer gaming platform for the shooter genre.
2. GameLock — GameLock lets you save money on games by agreeing to sell a used game at a fixed price at some point in the future.
3. Hellogamers — A startup that makes it easy to match professional gamers with potential sponsors.
4. Intugine — Intugine has created a new generation of motion-sensing technology with greater accuracy and support for up to eight players.
5. Nudge — Nudge provides Live Ops tools for mobile games. It helps you understand in real-time what is happening in your free-to-play games so that you can monetize them better.
6. Playfab — A startup headed by game veteran James Gwertzman. It focuses on mobile game server infrastructure so that game developers can focus on making games.
7. The Tap Lab — A developer of location-based mobile games. Founded by game veterans Dave Biscegllia, Ralph Shao, and Joe Williams.
The winner will receive a $5000 scholarship to YetiZen’s bootcamp.
The YetiZen bootcamp is a program for early-stage games studios that have yet to launch or gain significant users.
The program, which is being held in November, is taught by 20 game industry veterans and focuses on:
- Picking gaming categories you can win at, not crowded ones in which you will be out-muscled by others with more money or resources.
- User acquisition chops. Because if you build it they may still not come.
- Retaining and monetizing customers. Ship and forget is long dead. YetiZen focuses on games-as-a-service management practices.
You can check out the full GamesBeat 2014 program here. It’s packed with more than 88 industry-leading speakers (with about 18 more in the approval process), high-value discussions, breakouts, exclusive announcements, and brand-new networking sessions. Make sure to register today.
Our previously announced speakers include:
- Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts
- Matt Higby, creative director for Planetside 2 at Sony Online Entertainment
- Dan Brody, vice president of business development at Tencent
- Oliver Miao, CEO of Pixelberry Studios
- Janis Zech, chief revenue officer and cofounder of Fyber
- Kym Nelson, SVP at Twitch
- Jeff Lyndon, president of iDreamSky
- Kristian Segerstrale, COO at Super Evil Megacorp
- Will Harbin, CEO of Kixeye
- Rob Weber, CEO of NativeX
- Monty Kerr, cofounder of Playstudios
- Jeff Hilbert, co-CEO of DDM
- Anatoly Ropotov, CEO of Game Insight
- Roy Liu, CEO of Forgame US
- AJ Redmer, head of Gumi North America
- Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors
- Jay Eum, managing director at TransLink Capital
- Mikihiro Yasuda, a partner at strategic investment office at DeNA
- James Zhang, CEO of Spellgun
- Aditya Rathnam, co-founder of Kamcord
- Taehoon Kim, CEO of nWay
- Simon Khalaf, president and CEO of Flurry
- James Iliff, chief creative officer at Survios
- Andy Zhong, CEO of FunPlus
- Mike Frazzini, vice president of games at Amazon
- Dan Connors, CEO of Telltale Games
- Chris Petrovic, head of corporate development and licensing at Kabam
- David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies
- Peter Molyneux, CEO of 22cans
- Clive Downie, chief operating officer of Zynga
- Jonathan Simpson-Bint, chief revenue officer at Twitch
- Malathi Nayak, a reporter for Reuters
- Bob Meese, global head of game business development at Google Play
- Lucy Bradshaw, a senior vice president of the Maxis label at Electronic Arts
- Rachel Franklin, general manager of The Sims Studio at EA
- Rick Thompson, chairman of Signia Ventures
- Chris DeWolfe, chief executive of SGN
- Phil Sanderson, a game-savvy partner at IDG Ventures
- Peter Levin, president of interactive ventures and games at Lionsgate, the film studio that made The Hunger Games and Divergent
- Mike Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association
- Jens Begemann, chief executive of German social-mobile game publisher Wooga
- Mitch Lasky, a general partner at Benchmark and an investor in Riot Games and Natural Motion
- John Riccitiello, a gaming investor and the former CEO of Electronic Arts
- Evan Hirsch, founder of Engine Co. No. 4 (talking about seeing signs of trouble in game studios)
- Tim Chang, managing director at the Mayfield Fund
Our advisers include:
- Eric Goldberg, managing director of Crossover Technologies
- Michael Chang, managing director of Mavent Partners
- Tim Chang, managing director at Mayfield Fund
We expect to have more than 100 speakers, and we’ll roll out more as we get closer to the event.
Each year, GamesBeat follows a big trend. In 2009, we focused on how “All the World’s a Game” with the medium’s explosion on the global stage. In 2010, GamesBeat@GDC focused on “Disruption 2.0.” In 2011, our theme was “Mobile Games Level Up,” focusing on the busy intersection of games and mobile technology. In 2012, we explored the “Crossover Era”, covering time when so many big game companies and startups were transforming themselves by expanding from one market to the next. Last year, we talked about the “Battle Royal” as barriers between the different industry segments came down. Now, in the bid for “Total World Domination,” the competition to become the biggest global gaming company is wide open.
As companies adapt, we’re witnessing disruption, change, consolidation, innovation, and the arrival of big money. Billions of dollars are at stake. Last year, more than 550 notables from throughout the industry — social, mobile, online, PC, and console — attended the event. Please join us.
This year, we’ll see the return of our contest for the best gaming startup. The attention that these companies get for speaking onstage and winning the event is invaluable. An all-star panel of judges will pick the most promising entry based on freshness, innovation, and potential for business success. The top nominees will appear onstage, and the judges will pick the winner at the event.
We are still exploring our subthemes for the event and welcome your suggestions. If you’d like to sponsor, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s what a couple of game industry leaders said about last year’s event:
“Thanks for the contributions GamesBeat has made for this industry.” –Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
“It’s really refreshing listening to the cutting-edge innovation that is happening in the industry. I’m learning so much by being here.” –– Mike Gallagher, the president of the Entertainment Software Association
Purchase a ticket now!
Thanks to the following industry leaders for supporting GamesBeat 2014: NativeX as Corporate Partner; Tapjoy, Criteo, and SupersonicAds as Gold Partners; TrialPay, InMobi, deltaDNA, and TapSense as Silver Partners; Fyber, LifeStreet Media, SGN, Funplus, AppLift, Upsight, Helpshift, Personagraph, and Trumaker as Event Partners; Pwnit, Nudge, and VisiSonics as Nest Partners.
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