tentaclezone incubator

4 month virtual games incubator programme for early stage developers from underrepresented groups (zero cost to participants).

Programme dates: April 2022 – July 2022

Application Window: 10 February 2022 – 8 April 2022 

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tentaclezone incubator

4 month virtual games incubator programme for early stage developers from underrepresented groups (zero cost to participants).

Programme dates: April 2022 – July 2022

Application Window: 10 February 2022 – 8 April 2022 

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Applicants are encouraged from the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, between the BST and +4 hours time zone.

Featuring ten titles from early stage development to upcoming launches, the incubator showcase has just a selection of presentations from the founders as they introduce their games.

The line-up includes:

Wholesome – Out and About | Nature life sim, 

Yaldi Games

Schrodinger’s Catgirl | Mystery adventure game

Spider Lily Studios

Maive | Narrative adventure game

Flightful Pear

Days Lost | Mystery adventure game

Wordplay Games

Growbot | 2D robot adventure

Wabisabi Play

Sea of Leaves | Contemplative PC and console game

The Sea and the Forest

As yet untitled | 2D narrative puzzle game

Clockwork Raven Studios

Tap Tricks | One button skateboard game

BBBlaster | rogue-lite space shooter with dogs

Gesinimo Games

Squishy Sports | 2D party game

MADE BY TITANS

Hosted by award-winning presenter and journalist, Elle Osili-Wood

Our mission to drive positive change

In 2021, Payload Studios launched the first iteration of the Tentacle Zone Incubator. We had initially planned to support 10 founders from underrepresented backgrounds, but the application quality was so high that we ended up with a cohort of 12 fantastic founders. This year, we welcome a fantastic new partner for the incubator, Exient. Thanks to their support, we are able to continue ensuring that there is no cost to participating in the programme. We also welcome Nusrat Shah who is Exient’s COO and Louise Bay who is UA Lead as mentors/tutors for the programme – welcome on board!

The 2021 cohort remains in touch through accountability groups and within our alumni network, and many of them will be buddying up with founders for 2022.

We are particularly interested in applications from underrepresented groups including, but not limited to POC, lower socioeconomic backgrounds, LGBTQ+, underrepresented genders (cis women, trans women, trans men, non-binary and and other non-cisgender identities), disabilities and neurodiversities.

By partnering with likeminded industry partners, we hope that this games incubator programme will be an opportunity to leverage our Tentacle Zone initiative to enact positive change within our studio and the wider industry.

We know that we don’t always get it right and the journey to achieve a more inclusive industry is a long one, but it’s one that we believe in and are committed to.

With the support of our partners, Payload Studios and Exient, we are offering places on the incubator programme completely free of charge to indies. We welcome applications from early stage founders who are from one or more underrepresented groups including:

POC (people of colour)

Lower socioeconomic backgrounds

Underrepresented genders (cis women, non-binary, trans women, trans men and other non-cisgender identities)

Individuals with disabilities

Individuals with neurodiversities

LGBTQ+ 

Applicants are encouraged from the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, between the BST and +4 hours time zone.

What we offer

The programme will include five tracks and be co-curated with participants, industry and our academic partner.

Business & Finance

Team Building

Design, Development & Production

Marketing & PR

Pitching & Public Speaking Support

Business & Finance

Team Building

Design, Development & Production

Marketing & PR

Pitching & Public Speaking Support

What you’ll get out of it

We want to strap a rocket to your business and help you with technical know-how, mentoring and connections throughout the programme. As places are sponsored, there will be no cost to you for joining the programme.

Weekly engagement with industry experts across 5 tracks

CPD certification awarded via University of Greenwich

Access to publishers and investors

Access to mentors

Peer-to-peer learning with cohort and existing Tentacle Zone residents

Virtual community, recorded sessions and supporting materials

The application process

The closing deadline to apply for the 2022 incubator programme will be 8th April 2022 by 5.00pm BST. If you have any accessibility issues with the application please contact us at incubator@tentacle.zone.

Fill in application form

Shortlisting & panel review

All applicants notified of decision

Successful applicants join incubator

Fill in application form

Shortlisting & panel review

All applicants notified of decision

Successful applicants join incubator

Mentors & Industry Facilitators

Many of the industry mentors and tutors who helped make 2021’s programme a success are joining us again, and we also have some new additions for 2022. We could not deliver a strong programme without them! 

Rami Ismail

Gamedev. Helps devs globally. 33% of The Habibis. Was 50% of Vlambeer.

Nusrat Shah

COO, Exient

Russell Clarke

Founder and CEO, Payload Studios

Moo Yu

Co-Founder and Programmer, Foam Sword

Astrid Rosemarin

Communications Director, New World Interactive

Vincent Scheurer 

Founder and Operations Director,
Payload Studios

Helen Jones

Managing Director, Noisy Communications

Aj Grand-Scrutton 

CEO, Dlala studios

Des Gayle

Head of Production, Fellow Traveller

Julia Kenny

Content and Partnerships Manager, SEGA Europe

Kris Skellorn

Principal Designer, Payload Studios

Leon Killin

EDI Manager, Sumo Group

Kat Welsford

Digital Analytics, Square Enix

Mark Backler

Founder, Sketchbook Games

Elena Höge

Founder,
Yaldi Games

Salman Shurie

Founder and Developer, Gesinimo Games

Sarah Burns

Head of Production and Operations, Marvelous Europe

Sid and Abbie

Co- founders,
Flightful Pear

Ian Masters

Founder and CEO of Flick Games & Co-founder of Out Making Games (OMG)

Louise Bay, 

 Performance Marketeer (UA Lead), Exient

Phil Elliott

Director of Indie Publishing, Square Enix

Khally Saarman-Jones

HR and Operations Manager, Payload Studios

Albert Marshall

Founder, Marshall Media Affairs LLP

Anisa Sanusi

UI/UX Designer and Founder of LimitBreak

Matthew White

CEO, Whitethorn Games

Jeffery Thompson

CEO and Creative Director, Epoch Media

Andrew Smith

CEO, Spilt Milk Studios

Samantha Webb

Founders,
Clockwork Raven

Jeff Sparks

Senior Game Designer, Epic Games Publishing

Karen Yun

Events & Game Hubs Manager, Payload Studios

Laure De Mey

Founder, Balloon Studios

Darrenlloyd Gent

Programme Leader and Principal Lecturer, Games and Digital Media at University of Greenwich

Akshay Jain

Co-founder, Wordplay Games

Andy Watson

COO, Hutch

Maria Sayans

CEO, ustwo games

Oliver Kicks

Principal, RLC Ventures 

Nisha Valand

Tentacle Zone Workspace Programme Director, Payload Studios

Els White

Founder,
Spider Lily Studios

Lisa Evans

Founder,
Wabisabi Play

Matt Hall 

Founder,
Made by Titans

Simona Maiorano

Co-Founder and Designer, The Sea and the Forest

Nick Button-Brown

Games industry investor and advisor

Lucy Dove

Co-Director and Designer, The Dangerous Kitchen

Marc Melton

Managing Director, Marvelous Europe

James Dobrowski 

Managing Director, Sharkmob

Eva Field

PR Director, Noisy Communications

Dom Shaw

EDI Coordinator, Ukie

Melissa Philips

Head of Studio, Silver Rain Games

Jason Della Rocca

Co-founder, Execution Labs

Brian Wilson

Scout, Business Development at WhiteThorn Games

Judith Chan

Executive Director, Media Banking Office at Coutts

Fernando Rizo

CEO,
Modern Wolf

Django Verbaant

Senior Software Developer

Christian-Peter Heimbach

Founder, Actioncy

 Dan Bernado

Founder and Game Director, Playtra

Chrisa Aguis

Product Director, 
Exient

Joshua Weeden

Game Programmer, Payload Studios

FAQs

No, it is completely free, there is no cost for participants on the programme.

This is our second year running the incubator programme which is focused on early stage founders from underrepresented groups. Ideally this will be those that are working on their very first game and need focused support and networks to help take their business/game to the next stage.

Applicants are encouraged from the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, between the GMT and +4 hours time zone. 

The Ukie Games Industry Census 2020 highlighted key underrepresented groups within the UK games industry. We are interested in applications from founders who identify with one or more underrepresented groups such as POC, lower socioeconomic backgrounds, underrepresented genders (cis women, trans women, trans men, non-binary and other non-cisgender identities), LGBTQ+, disabilities and neurodiversities. 

This list is not exhaustive and we will not always get it right, if there is a group missing, please contact us at nisha@tentacle.zone

Absolutely! We already have an existing community of Tentacle Zone residents who benefit from a weekly programme of support and who will also have access to the incubator when it is launched. We believe that the peer-to-peer learning within the cohort and regular contact with more established companies will enable more knowledge sharing to benefit participants. Please contact us on hello@tentacle.zone.

You can find out more in the mentors and tutors section, but we are lucky enough to have a diverse range of industry folks who will contribute to all elements of the programme. These includes our partners, individuals from Payload Studios (creators of TerraTech), as well as contribution from our existing Tentacle Zone Residents who are based in our co-working space in London. We also have a number of industry professionals who are passionate about diversity and inclusion and who have, themselves, faced challenges (being part of underrepresented groups) either running businesses or working in the games industry.

​​The key dates are:

  • Feb 10th: Application window opens
  • 8th April: Application window closes
  • End of April: Successful applicants announced
  • Early May: Programme starts
  • August 2022: Incubator ends with a showcase to industry, partners and media.

With the support of our industry partners, we are able to ensure there is no cost for participants in the programme. However, we aren’t able to offer any further financial support and we do not take equity in any of the businesses. We are not a publisher or an investor, we are just trying to help you on your indie journey.

We expect founders to be available, and participate in 1-2 hour live sessions (delivered virtually) each week with an additional 2 hours for time with 1-2-1 experts, the rest of the cohort or mentors. 

If you must miss a session, we will record the content where possible and will make these available to all participants right after the session. 

 

Please see ‘what you’ll get out of the programme’ for more information. Aside from a practical toolkit and  industry connections, we want to strap a rocket to your business and help you make progress with your game and business growth. You will also receive CPD certification via the University of Greenwich.

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and is the term used to describe the learning activities professionals & students engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. It enables learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive.

Engaging in Continuing Professional Development ensures that both academic and practical qualifications do not become out-dated or obsolete; allowing individuals to continually ‘up skill’ or ‘re-skill’ themselves, regardless of occupation, age or educational level.

You can find the application form here! For any accessibility issues with the application, please contact nisha@tentacle.zone.

If you have any further questions, please contact incubator@tentacle.zone for more information.

Apply here!

The deadline to apply for this first cohort is 24th February 2021 by 5.00pm. If you have any accessibility issues with the application, please contact us at incubator@tentacle.zone

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