The Cologne Game Lab supports game developers in turning their ideas for digital games into marketable products. Just before Gamescom 2021 kicked off, Cologne’s Mayor Henriette Reker and representatives of the Cologne Business Development Agency got an impression of the activities in the Cologne Game Incubator (CGI).
“Cologne and the games industry are inextricably linked – if only by the fact that Gamescom takes place here every year. The Cologne Game Incubator and the Cologne University of Applied Sciences support founders and thus contribute to further growth and the future viability of Cologne as a gaming location,” emphasized Mayor Henriette Reker.
Prof. Odile Limpach, project manager of the CGI, explained the challenges faced by founders. “These range from the development of an innovative as well as commercially viable game to the financing of it to legal issues,” said Limpach. “In the mini-incubator, with the support of KölnBusiness, we want to help ensure that the developers’ concepts do not remain in the status of an idea, but are developed into viable business models.”
Six teams are currently working at the CGI and, thanks to funding from the city and KölnBusiness Wirtschaftsförderungs-GmbH, they can use office space free of charge as well as access professional support from industry experts and mentors in the run-up to the start-up. Four teams now presented their prototypes to the Mayor and the managing director of KölnBusiness, Dr. Manfred Janssen: a box for 3D recordings of plant growth, a narrative-based adventure game set in West Berlin in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a cooperative puzzle game for two players, and a logic and casual game in which you control a small robot that tries to get to its destination show the wide range of games in terms of content and concept.
“In the Cologne Game Lab, you can see how students come together in an ideal way, develop their first business ideas and experiment together to then successfully step into entrepreneurship. We at KölnBusiness are pleased to support the Cologne Game Lab together with the TH Köln now and in the future,” emphasized Dr. Manfred Janssen.
The Cologne Game Incubator is embedded in the university’s structures for promoting spin-offs. For example, there is another mini-incubator at the Südstadt Campus and, with the StartUpLab@TH Cologne, a central meeting place for those interested in founding a company with workrooms and a prototype workshop at the Deutz Campus. The university-wide start-up service, which advises existing teams and offers office space in the “coworking space,” is also located there. In addition to these services, TH Köln is also the coordinator of the EXIST joint project “Fit for Invest”. Together with the University of Cologne, the German Sport University and the Rhenish University of Applied Sciences Cologne, it aims to make the location one of the most successful start-up regions in Germany.