applications open today for the award-winning tentacle zone incubator for underrepresented founders
Applications are now open for the 2024 virtual Tentacle Zone Incubator for early stage developers from underrepresented groups, including but not limited to, POC, lower socioeconomic backgrounds, LGBTQ+, underrepresented genders, people with disabilities and neurodiversities. Applicants should be working on their first PC or console game and need focused support and networks to help take their game and business to the next stage.
The three-month virtual program will start in February 2024. All participants will be matched with an industry mentor and benefit from peer-to-peer learning and networking. The cohort will also be offered a program of weekly talks and group sessions by different industry experts, so far over 45 games industry peers have supported the program. The program is split into five tracks, co-curated by previous participants, industry experts and the incubator’s academic partner, University of Greenwich. The tracks are – business and finance; team building; design, development and production; marketing and PR, and pitching and public speaking. The incubator will culminate in an industry showcase to help the cohort with the next stage of their development journey.
The program is free for participants and is brought to you by Payload Studios and the Tentacle Zone with support from the University of Greenwich. Participants will be awarded a Continuing Professional Development Certificate from the University of Greenwich upon completion.
The key dates are:
Comments from mentor:
“The Tentacle Zone Incubator was founded to help foster a more equitable industry with more diverse games which represent everyone who plays games and wider society. This year we are opening the Incubator up to early stage founders globally, with a specific focus on PC and console developers. We are thrilled that the program is now in its third year and I want to thank all the incredible participants, mentors, sponsors and industry expert tutors who have, and continue to support the program”
CEO and Co-Founder, Payload Studios
Previous participants said:
“Tentacle Zone really helped us focus our studio and move forwards in the right direction. Having regular sessions with industry tutors, dedicated mentor support and the means to interact with the fellow devs in the cohort was an all-round positive experience for us.”Tentacle Zone really helped us focus our studio and move forwards in the right direction. Having regular sessions with industry tutors, dedicated mentor support and the means to interact with the fellow devs in the cohort was an all-round positive experience for us.
Creative Director, Solar Flare London (2022 Incubator Cohort)
“The Tentacle Zone Incubator experience was amazing for us: we went in a naive game development team and came out with much more clarity and focus. We’re immensely grateful for this learning, and for the connections we made along the way.”
Kolena Studios (2022 Incubator Cohort)
“I believe it is the most helpful program for new founders who are trying to ship their first commercial video game. They’ve assigned me private mentors, to help me improve my game design, create a sustainable structure for my studio, and manage it professionally. Before I was in doubt about each step in the journey of creating and publishing my game; But now, I am going through the path with confidence in a professional way”
WinWin Games (2022 Incubator Cohort)
About The Tentacle Zone:
The Tentacle Zone Incubator was launched in 2021 by independent UK developer, Payload Studios. The Incubator, now in its third year, is a three-month virtual incubator program for early stage founders from underrepresented groups, including but not limited to, POC, lower socioeconomic backgrounds, LGBTQ+, underrepresented genders, people with disabilities and neurodiversities.
The program has received support from industry partners such as Ukie, Green Man Gaming, the University of Greenwich, Creative England, Playtest Kit and Tonic Games Group; and has won the ‘TIGA Diversity Award 2021’, the MCV/Develop ‘IRL Diversity Award 2021’, and was a ‘Diversity Star Finalist’, at the Develop: Star Awards 2021. The Incubator provides training and mentorship across five tracks including: business and finance; team building; design, development and production; marketing and PR; and pitching and public speaking. So far 24 early stage developers have completed the program.