SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 15, 2013) - Can mobile game developers become the best consumer app and wearable computing developers? "Can and should," says Peter Relan, serial entrepreneur whose incubator YouWeb has spawned genre-defining mobile and tablet game companies, OpenFeint and CrowdStar, since 2008, and is now encouraging game developers to apply their skills to a new frontier of consumer products beyond gaming through his scaled up incubator program called Studio 9+.
Relan and his team of technology innovators at Studio 9+ in Silicon Valley are seeking mobile games entrepreneurs with a strong passion for starting their own venture. The program scales the successful YouWeb approach offering 9 months of mentorship and support including $110,000 of investment to bring their game-developing skills to build a new era of consumer apps, big data and wearable computing.
Relan says that due to increasing consolidation in the games space many great developers and product managers are leaving games companies to seek out new opportunities or start new businesses. Studio 9+ recognizes that gaming professionals are especially well positioned for other verticals in mobile and beyond and wants them to apply to 9+ where their skill set is recognized.
Relan stated the top three reasons why his Studio 9+ incubator believes game developers are suited for this challenge is their experience in these areas:
- Managing a user acquisition funnel for user growth, often called "growth hacking." Mobile games entrepreneurs are well versed in how to take advantage of new platforms like mobile app stores and social factors, skills very applicable to consumer services and, in the future, big data and wearable computing startups.
- Engagement and Monetization focus through big data and analytics in freemium products. Freemium models are dominating the app stores, and mobile game entrepreneurs have years of experience in how to use data and analytics to engage and monetize users in this new model for all consumer services.
- Rise of the "Lean Startup Game Developer." Lean and mean gaming entrepreneurs have fought and won battles with much larger organizations so they come equipped with the skills to compete efficiently. These entrepreneurs also have strong working knowledge of third party tools and services available to accelerate product development and reduce cash requirements when running a startup.
Relan's message to game developers? "Let's change the app ecosystem and move away from the app assembly line," he says. "I invite game developers and product professionals to take what they've learned from building mobile games, to become founder-CEOs, and to re-imagine the way consumer apps are developed and monetized."
The Studio 9+ incubator has already closed $2 million in funding and has already attracted gaming entrepreneurs eager to create a new breed of mobile services including gaming entrepreneur Jason Citron, who developed the early iPhone hit Aurora Feint and the hugely popular OpenFeint platform.
"Working with Peter in his YouWeb Incubator was a blast, and very fruitful for me," said Citron, founder-CEO of his new startup Hammer and Chisel. "Peter's vision for his scaled YouWeb program, 9+, is right on: offering his unique insights and approach to mentorship and company building to a dozen people like me in every class twice a year."
How Studio 9+ Works
- Only Studio 9+ offers developers a nine-month program that gives entrepreneurs a longer, more realistic timeframe to build meaningful companies. At Studio 9+ entrepreneurs can expect a comprehensive platform to help them become founder-CEOs.
- During the course of the program, Relan and the all-star team of company builders put together over the last two years, will guide entrepreneurs through his personally designed three-phase approach. First, building a minimum viable product. Next, discovering and tuning for a product-market fit, and finally a company-building phase for growing traction with users, potential hires, and top-tier investors.
Relan's goal is not to find developers and hackers to build features, but to help create founder-CEOs who build meaningful companies. Studio 9+ will choose up to 12 companies per class, twice a year, focusing on all direct-to-consumer and viral B2B products and services in mobile computing, tablet computing, big data, infrastructure platforms, and wearable computing. The companies selected will receive $30,000 in cash for equity and another $80,000 as a convertible note with a $5 million valuation cap, and will get nine months of guidance that go far beyond office hours and the typical three months offered by other incubators.
Applications to Studio 9+ start with a simple application, and a video submission and all applicants by August 31st receive confidential feedback, regardless of whether the candidate is selected or not. To apply, please visit: http://www.studio9plus.com
About Studio 9+
Studio 9+ is an accelerator founded by serial entrepreneur and company builder Peter Relan and his team of Mentors and Company Builders, including Jerry Held, Michelle Sangster, Eros Resmini, Jim Mills, and Les Wright. 9+ gives nine months of deep mentorship across all facets of business to help entrepreneurs become Founder-CEOs with viable companies which have a stronger foundation and higher chance of success.