7 min read

Application phase for the Games Lift Incubator 2022 starts

Get your applications in now.
[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Game Developer and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press]

Hamburg, May 11, 2022: Developers and games start-ups from Hamburg can apply for the extensive funding and support program Games Lift Incubator until June 14, 11:59 pm CEST. As part of the program run by the location initiative Gamecity Hamburg, five teams get financial support of 15,000 euros, three months of coaching and mentoring, slots in a co-working space as well as access to the Games Lift Network composed of numerous mentors from the international games industry. Upon completing the program, the teams will get continued support for twelve months with additional coaching and the help of a PR agency specializing in video games. A quick overview of the program and its benefits in only 30 seconds is available in this trailer video:

Gamecity Hamburg has been organizing the Games Lift Incubator once a year since 2020 to support solo devs, developers, founders and start-ups in Hamburg with the development of digital games with high market potential.

„The development of digital games is a Herculean task – especially for young teams who have just begun working on their projects. With the Games Lift Incubator, we create the ideal environment to support the teams at each step of their way and help them to manage challenges as well as to reach milestones in the best way possible. The closely-knit network of developers and companies in Hamburg allows us to offer the teams a unique combination of expertise, coaching and public funding”, explains Amanda Förtsch, project manager at Gamecity Hamburg and member of the Games Lift Incubator 2022 Awarding Committee.

The timeline for the Games Lift Incubator 2022
Applicants and teams from Hamburg as well as devs and teams who aim to relocate to Hamburg can apply for the Games Lift Incubator 2022 until June 14. The Awarding Committee invites the most promising teams to pitch their projects online and five teams are subsequently accepted in the Incubator. The incubator program begins September 12 and runs until the beginning of December. Following the graduation event for the five teams on December 8, Gamecity Hamburg continues to support the graduates for another year of individual coaching with professional advisors and the help of a PR agency specialized in video games.

Further information about the Games Lift Incubator is available on the official website: Applications can be submitted online until June 14, 11:59 pm CEST.

“Games Lift Insights” information event on May 24
To give an impression of what awaits participating teams in the workshop program of the Games Lift Incubator, Gamecity Hamburg will host the online workshop “Games Lift Insights" on May 24, 2022, 4:30 pm CEST. Cassia Curran, business development and strategic advisor specialized in games and Games Lift mentor, will share her knowledge on market analysis for indie games. Also, the Gamecity Hamburg team will join in to answer participants’ question about the Games Lift program and application process. More information and registration for the event:

The Awarding Committee
The Awarding Committee, composed of experts from the local games industry as well as representatives of Gamecity Hamburg and Hamburg’s Ministry of Culture and Media, decides which applications are accepted into the Games Lift Incubator 2022:

Mareike Ottrand is professor of Interactive Illustration and Games at the HAW Hamburg University of Applied Sciences as well as co-founder and art director at Studio Fizbin. The German development studio is known for titles like “The Inner World” and was awarded the title of “Best Studio” at the German Video Game Awards last year.

Ole Schaper is CEO and CTO of the mobile games studio Sviper, known for the game “Super Spell Heroes”, which was able to raise a seven-figure sum from international investors. He brings his experience from both developer and management positions at development studios as well as founder and CEO of his own companies to the table.

Wolf Lang is co-founder of the Hamburg-based indie studio THREAKS and CEO of the event agency Super Crowd Entertainment, which specializes in the games industry. Super Crowd Entertainment was awarded a special prize by the jury of the German Computer Game Award for its virtual exhibition concept called “Indie Arena Booth Online", which allows indie developers to be digitally present at gamescom, the largest European video game exhibition.

Jens Unrau is Head of the Department of Media and Digital Economy at the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and has been supporting the development of the local media and digital economy for over 20 years. He has been a point of contact for the games industry in Hamburg since 2003 and brings his experience as the initiator of the first Hamburg prototype funding program as well as member of the Awarding Committee of the new Gamecity Hamburg prototype funding to the table.

Amanda Förtsch is project manager at Gamecity Hamburg and responsible for the concept and execution of networking events and funding programs like the Games Lift Incubator. She previously handled numerous clients and projects at Super Crowd Entertainment and was involved in the development of the Gamecity Online Hub as well as the organization of the community convention MAG!  and the Hamburg Games Conference.

The mentors
A variety of professional mentors are available to the participating teams as part of the Games Lift Incubator. This year’s mentors include Heather Chandler, consultant in the games industry and former Senior Producer for Fortnite, as well as Jörg Luibl, experienced games journalist, amongst others. Additional supporters of this year’s Incubator program will be revealed soon.

Please find attached the following material for editorial use:

  • Photo of Amanda Förtsch, Project Manager at Gamecity Hamburg | Credit: Oliver Reetz
  • Graphic: Apply Now!
  • Graphic: Games Lift Incubator Key Visual | Illustration: Sebastian Stamm

For further information and questions please contact:

Johannes Klockenbring
Gamecity Hamburg
PR Manager
[email protected]

About Gamecity Hamburg
Gamecity Hamburg supports, connects and makes the gaming hub Hamburg visible. The aim is to improve the general conditions for companies and founders of the games value chain in the city, to support them in their further development and to anchor Hamburg in the public perception as one of the leading games locations in Germany. Gamecity Hamburg is the contact point for Hamburg's games funding as well as the Games Lift Incubator and also offers programs, events, and services in close cooperation with the games industry to strengthen local developers. At the same time, the exchange of knowledge within the sector and with other industries is promoted. The promotion of young talent, the development of new formats that activate the strong network of games companies in the city, and internationalization are the focus of the location initiative's activities. Gamecity Hamburg is part of Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft.

About the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft
Since its foundation in 2010, Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft has seen itself as a central contact point for all players in Hamburg's creative industries from the eleven sub-markets of architecture, visual arts, design, film, literature, music, press, radio, software/games, theatre/dance, and advertising. It supports creative professionals with contemporary services and promotes innovation within the framework of the "Cross-Innovation Hub" project. Since 2017 the industry-specific initiatives Gamecity Hamburg, nextMedia.Hamburg and designxport are part of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft mbH.

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