Six new games companies powered up by Teesside University

Pinchinthorpe Hall

A new support programme being offered by Teesside University is helping the next generation of indie games developers emulate the success of their predecessors.

Six new games studios have been accepted onto the inaugural Power-UP Indie Games Accelerator based at the University’s Launchpad business incubator.

They six games companies are: Ready Penguin Go, Omniplay, Infinity 27, Distorted Games, Dog Box Studios, and Cosmic Key.

Each of the businesses will receive dedicated studio space for teams of up to 12 staff, PCs and equipment, the latest software and industry-led mentoring and workshops.

The Indie Games Accelerator will be housed in the historic Victoria Building, a former Victorian school which recently underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment as part of the creation of a £5.6m University Enterprise Zone on the Middlesbrough campus.

Paying a visit to Launchpad, the university’s chancellor Paul Drechsler CBE, former president of the CBI, praised the impact the University’s enterprise activities are having on the development of the region’s tech sector.

He said: “The UK games industry is worth £7 billion to the UK economy and the Tees Valley region has a well-deserved reputation for launching and growing some of the most innovative and exciting companies in the sector.

“This is powered by the work of Teesside University; from helping to provide the graduate talent required by the sector to supporting and nurturing tech entrepreneurs.

“Through co-working spaces in the University Enterprise Zone and leading on dedicated networks, Teesside invests in providing opportunities for collaboration and ideas generation.

“The Power-UP programme will take this support to the next level and I look forward to seeing these companies go from strength to strength, setting a new benchmark for innovation and entrepreneurship and playing a key role in building back better, through the development of knowledge, skills and employment in the region.”

The Power-UP support will help the six companies follow in the footsteps of illustrious Launchpad alumni such as Coatsink Studios who were recently acquired by Thunderful Group in a £65m deal; Sock Monkey Studios who are experiencing 50 per cent year-on-year growth having raised £250k to support growth to 50 staff in 2021, and Radical Forge who are doubling their workforce, with 20 new roles advertised and revenue expected to exceed £1m in 2021.

Steve Dougan, head of enterprise at Teesside University, said: “We’re delighted to welcome our first cohort of companies on to the Power-UP Indie Games Accelerator.

“Launchpad has already firmly established itself as a major part of the ecosystem for the region’s tech sector.

“This extra support will enable us to grow this role, helping develop more exciting and creative companies and establishing the region as a fantastic place to live and work.”

For more information about Teesside Launchpad visit tees.ac.uk/depts/studentfutures/enterprise/

• Pictured above: Paul Drechsler CBE with Warren Harrison (centre), Dean of Teesside University Business School and Steve Dougan (right), Head of Enterprise at Teesside University in Assembly Hall co-working space at Teesside Launchpad.