This panel featured a discussion on where / how to get financing for your gaming start-up.
- Pierre LeLann, Co-CEO, Tribal Nova
- Jenna Seguin, Loan Officer, Aver Media
- Robert Shoniker, Principal, Courage Capital
- Marc Jackson, Managing Partner, Video Game Finance Inc.
- Robert mentioned that there used to be a government organization called “Innovation Ontario” which invested a seed amount of $500k in tech companies in the province. That is how RIM got funded in its initial days. He said there is a need for a government fund which would seek to invest $20 – $30 million in the digital media industry, which should be matched by private funds.
- Pierre suggested it might be a good idea to get the publisher involved early, as potential new contracts for more games can help in the growth of your gaming start-up.
- Jenna talked about the digital media tax credits available to companies operating in that space. She mentioned that there is a high level of predictability in the tax credit system since it has been around long enough. She also advised companies pitching to financiers like herself to come prepared (have their cash flow, financing documents, etc in order).
Overall, the advice for gaming start-ups seemed to be to seek initial funding from friends/family, seek out government funding options like the tax credits and IRAP and seek strategic partners/publishers to get off the ground.