In a bid to boost the gaming, VFX industry, the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) has set up IMAGE, a centre of excellence (CoE) for gaming, VFX, computer vision and AI in Hyderabad on Monday.
This is also the first Incubation centre for companies focussed on IP in Gaming, VFX, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision set up by STPI.
Spread over 10,000 Square feet, the IMAGE CoE, which is inside the existing STPI facility targets to incubate up to 25-30 startups per year for the next five years. It will be investing a total of Rs 19.68 crore over a period of 5 years for the CoE in addition to existing infrastructure in the STPI facility.
STPI-IMAGE also signed MoU with five partners TVAGA (Telangana VFX, Animation and Gaming Association), Hyderabad Angels, HYSEA, IIIT- Hyderabad, and TiE Hyderabad with an objective to nurture and promote start-ups and budding entrepreneurs by offering resources like mentoring, technology support, infrastructure like Plug & Play Incubation, Mocap, CVAI labs and funding.
The startups will be mentored by a group of accomplished industry and academic pioneers, led by the Chief Mentor and aided by a strong Governing Council (GC) & Project Management Group (PMG) consisting of top technology industrialists, investors and academicians.
This comes at a time when mobile gaming is anticipated to be a $105 billion opportunity by 2023 and outpace China, which is estimated to be at $73 billion.
Applications for the CoE are open and will close on March 31, 2020 and startups will undergo various levels of evaluation before being selected. Shortlisted startups will then be assisted with a seed fund of Rs. 5 lakhs after due diligence by the PMG. This fund will be released to startups during the structured program at regular intervals, based on achieving set milestones.
In the first year, 20 startups will be chosen for on boarding this program. Each startup will be given access to best-in-class infrastructure and R&D lab facilities, for development and validation of solution from design to prototyping to democratize innovation, including the newly set up Motion Capture Lab. They will also be provided access to funding, mentorship, and marketing.
IMAGE is a collaboration between industry associations, academia, and angel investors.
The Telangana VFX, Animation and Gaming Association will lend support in funding game development startups and fostering strategic partnerships between game development startups and global gaming publishers. In addition, TVAGA will be sponsoring Gamelab related resources such as cloud and advertising credits for gaming start-ups being accelerated at CoE.
HYSEA will help provide seed funding, strategy guidance, market access besides helping the start-ups on matters related to Product definition,
On their part, Hyderabad Angels will provide strategy, mentoring, and help to raise funds for the start-ups. IIIT-H: will extend technology mentoring support.
The State Government will aid in strengthening the CoE goals with industry-friendly IMAGE policies and may also consider providing grant-in-aid to meritorious startups.