Game CoLab to Launch Gaming Incubator in Phoenix

Well, we've got some good news and some great news.

The good news is that Game CoLab, the independent co-working organization dedicated to developing the local gaming community, has just received a good chunk of change: a one-time $33,798 grant from the City of Phoenix, plus a $4,000 grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Now for the great news: it could help aspiring gamer entrepreneurs land their dream jobs.

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Game CoLab, which was founded just shy of a year ago, will use the city-generated grant to launch an incubator program for game developers "with innovative and disruptive ideas," with ultimate goal of creating three new jobs in under three years.

"[With gaming] I feel like it's not just the entertainment side but there's this opportunity for health services, businesses services, and education to take advantage of game psychology and game mechanics," says Game CoLab co-founder Ben Reichert.

CoLab's incubator program will select four teams of game developers based on their talent and entrepreneurial skills. Each team will receive free workspace, classes, mentorship from local and out-of-state experts, networking and pitch opportunities, as well as a monthly stipend of $300.

"It's a nice package of the services and resources that we really felt that gaming community here really needed," says Reichert.

The program will offer two four-month sessions beginning in June and October. Each program session is only open to two teams, however the general public will still be able to use the space year round by paying the monthly $100 fee and attend some of the classes (for a yet-to-be-determined fee).

Game CoLab has opened its rolling-admission for the Game Incubator. Interested applicants can apply at www.gamecolab.org.

As for the $4,000 grant from ACA, that will go towards Game CoLab's upcoming Global Jam 2014, a regular two-day game development event that happens across the country with different themes in each location. For details on Global Game Jam, visit globalgamejam.com.

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