entrepreneurship

Where to open a game studio

Posted by | Entertainment, entrepreneurship, Extra Crunch, Gaming, Investor Surveys, TC | No Comments

With the game industry booming, more entrepreneurs are evaluating where to base their new startup or open a new office for their existing company. The U.S. government’s block on H1-B and L-1 visas will encourage American game startups to add an office abroad much sooner than they otherwise would have. But where?

This spring, I surveyed a number of gaming-focused VCs about which cities are the best hubs for game studios targeting the Western games market. Several locales stood out as heavily recommended — which I’ve shared below — but the most interesting takeaway was the lack of consensus.

Game studios are far less geographically concentrated than other categories of VC-backed startups. While there are odes on Twitter and conference stages that “you can build a successful startup anywhere,” most investors will push founders to locate themselves in the SF Bay Area, or at least in LA, NYC or London. Meanwhile, the most common piece of advice from those I spoke to: You should probably not base a gaming startup in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Access to the right talent is the top priority, as is the ability to retain them. Proximity to investors matters, but a successful game quickly turns a profit, which reduces the need for outside funding beyond Series A (and U.S. and European VCs who focus on gaming tend to be very international in scope). Quality of life, ease of obtaining visas and access to strategic partners all play into the decision as well and will weigh these recommendations differently depending on who you are and the games you’re developing.

Three notes:

  • I focused on qualitative research, gauging the assessments of top investors who track new startups in the sector about where the action is right now. 
  • The scope of this survey is limited to studios targeting the Western gaming market, so leading hubs in Asia weren’t included.
  • I group cities by metropolitan area so, for example, San Francisco includes Redwood City and Seattle includes Bellevue.

North America

In North America, Los Angeles is the clear favorite with Montreal, Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver all receiving many endorsements as the other top hubs. Regarding cities with the most interesting gaming startups recently, Ryann Lai of Makers Fund said, “It is hard to name a single best location, but Toronto, Culver City (in Los Angeles), Orange County (next to Los Angeles) have gotten increasingly popular among gaming founders lately.”

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Mobile delivers high exit multiples despite broader market slowdown

Posted by | business, business incubators, Column, CrunchBase, economy, entrepreneurship, Facebook, Finance, golden gate ventures, Mobile, Private Equity, Spark Capital, Startup company, TC, unicorn, Venture Capital | No Comments

 In the world of mobile apps, numbers come in two sizes: big and bigger. More than one billion people use Facebook’s mobile app every day. But what about the financial side of the mobile business; specifically, venture investment and returns? By looking at the numbers behind two different ends of the startup life cycle, a reasonable understanding of the mobile market today can be had. Read More

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Neos launches IoT-powered home insurance UK-wide

Posted by | Apps, artificial intelligence, economy, entrepreneurship, Europe, Finance, Gadgets, insurance, Internet, money, Neos, Private Equity, Startup company, Startups, TC, United Kingdom | No Comments

 What do you get if you combine the Internet of Things with the business of home insurance? U.K. startup Neos is hoping the answer is damage and/or theft prevention rather than just after-the-unfortunate-fact payouts. Read More

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Meet Tovala, a smart oven that aims to perfectly cook ready-made meals in under 30 minutes

Posted by | Cooking, Cooking Gadgets, entrepreneurship, Gadgets, Kickstarter, Startup company, TC, tovala, YCombinator | No Comments

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 3.47.08 PM Tovala is a new startup out of Y Combinator that came up with what they hope to be a less expensive alternative to professional combination ovens. The Tovala is a smart oven that can bake, boil and steam meals at up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit in 10 to 30 minutes. The meals come prepackaged from Tovala or can be made using a crowdsourced recipe platform. Tovala utilizes a combination of dry and… Read More

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Attending CES? TechCrunch Wants To See Your Company

Posted by | blogs, Consumer Electronics Show, entrepreneurship, Gadgets, Startup company, TechCrunch | No Comments

ces2 CES is a horrible, god-awful experience that will shave years off your life. The casinos, the food, the people, the germs. Horrible. All of it. But we love it! And we’re sending a huge contingent to the show again this year and want to see your gadgets, toys and products. TechCrunch cares much more for the hardware startups than the big CE players. We want to see the future FitBits and… Read More

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