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Wed, 27 May, 2015 02:17:01 AM
Game industry to get first business accelerator
FTimes Report May 27
 
The first Finnish game industry-focused business accelerator comes into operations this fall in Oulu.
 
The operator, GameBrewery, has designed a five-month programme.
 
Behind the business accelerator is a long line of game professionals like Ilkka Immonen, Collin Foss and Brendon Neuwerth, each with 10 to 15 years of experience in various positions. A number of other game industry professionals are also involved in the accelerator.
 
Ilkka Immonen has worked as the chief executive of a number of game companies, a consultant for the industry, and as a business development task incubator and business manager for creative industries in the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
 
These experiences have enabled him to see what kind of skills and support a new entrepreneur in the gaming industry needs. 
 
According to Neogames Director Koopee Hiltunen, GameBrewery is Finland’s first accelerator focused on the gaming industry and a significant breakthrough for all of Europe.
 
The business accelerator’s launch involves Neogames’ push for national cooperation in the gaming industry, which seeks to strengthen opportunities and development for companies operating outside the capital region. 
 
In addition to Oulu, Turku, Joensuu, Kotka, Kouvola and Kajaani are part of the nationwide cooperation efforts for a total of 10 cities from Rovaniemi to Helsinki.
 
GameBrewery’s first acceleration programme will be carried out in Oulu for businesses in the Pohjois-Pohjanmaa region. 
 
According to BusinessOulu’s Creative Industries Accounts Manager Heikki Tunkkari, the business accelerator will start in Oulu, because of OuluGameLab, a gaming industry incubator operating out of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences. OuluGameLab gained international attention as an excellent start-up game platform. The City of Oulu has seen 10 new gaming companies sprout up in the last three years. 
 
“The accelerator provides a good opportunity to strengthen the game industry in Oulu,” says Heikki Tunkkari.
 
According to Neogames’ Hiltunen, within the framework of the nationwide collaboration in the gaming industry, explorations into extending the operations of the business accelerator will happen in the next year.
 
Ilkka Immonen of GameBrewery also notes that the acceleration programme will be fine-tuned on the basis of its initial experiences, particularly, on how to operate the accelerator programme, at least in part, remotely.
 
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