5 min read

HOST announces Gametech MediaCity accelerator for the best creative digital start-ups

Gametech MediaCity accelerator set up to help boost creative digital start-ups blossom.
[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Game Developer and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press]

HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology, is on a mission to drive forward the next generation of MediaCity’s global capabilities and reach as it looks to harness new technologies in the creative digital industries.

Building on the pedigree that MediaCity has established over the last 10 years as one of the world’s leading media and tech hubs, HOST is launching Gametech MediaCity, a next level accelerator that will scale 30 of the most exciting start-ups innovating in technologies such as the metaverse, XR and virtual production.
This includes the creation of 3,000 new highly skilled jobs over two years, the upskilling of diverse local talent through Skills City’s bootcamps and apprenticeships, and the securing of public and private sector investment into the rapidly growing sector.

MediaCity is home to over 250 creative and tech businesses and an 8,000 strong community, with plans for a £1 billion investment in the next decade which will see the internationally recognised destination continue to grow.

At HOST’s inaugural Esports Festival, held as part of Digital City Festival, it announced Gametech MediaCity, where 30 start-ups in the UK will be immersed in a three-month growth and innovation programme to develop their cutting-edge technologies, IP ownership and prepare for investment.

In response to the lack of diversity and inclusivity in the gametech and esports sectors, HOST, operated by IN4 Group, has committed to ensuring everyone has access to the skills, jobs and business opportunities that exist in the thriving creative industry.

Ukie has found that there is still more work to be done to build an equal, diverse and inclusive sector in the UK games industry with 67 per cent of the workforce being male, 30 per cent female and 3 per cent non-binary. While representation from ethnic groups remains similar to two years ago, with 66 per cent of the workforce reporting that they are White British, 24 per cent as White Other, 5 per cent as Black, 2 per cent as Asian, 2 per cent as mixed/multiple ethnicities and 2 per cent as other.

The initiative aims to bring together the gametech, esports and creative digital communities, so there are tangible opportunities made available for individuals and groups, such as women and those from underrepresented backgrounds, who would not normally have access to traditional funding and support.
As well as a training ground for esports, including professional teams and local tournaments, HOST will act as a central gateway for stimulating skills and employment routes for young people to get into these emerging sectors.

The UK market for video games is continuing to grow at a rapid rate as it reached a record £7 billion in 2020, an increase of 29.9 per cent from 2019, beating 2018’s previous record by more than a billion pounds.
Mo Isap, CEO of IN4 Group, said: “Building on the incredible success of MediaCity, we’re now attracting the best global leaders and partners in gametech and creative digital sectors to achieve this great vision, which will ensure that every person has fair access to the immense skills, jobs and business opportunities that the industry provides.

“Our ambition is to create an international beacon of creativity, innovation and prosperity. A place where we can start to converge this community and evidence the transformational impact of what gametech, esports and immersive technologies can bring to the region, the economy and society.”

Stephen Wild, Managing Director of MediaCity, said: “The scale of the new and inclusive opportunities for growth generated from the gametech and esports campus will be transformational for MediaCity as we look forward to welcoming some of the most forward-looking enterprises in this sector. Our continued partnership with HOST provides a unique offering, as the most exciting and long-term impact of this journey will be the creation of sustainable jobs and the development of professional skills in one of the fastest-growing technology sectors in the world.”


Notes for Editors

Image description: The women in esports panel at HOST’s Esports Festival, supported by Women in Games International (WIGI).

L-r: Riley Soley, Media & Marketing Executive at Esports Insider; Kendryx Linscott, Chief Marketing Officer at WIGI; Ruby Dawn, COO at Dota Valkyries; Joanie Kraut, CEO of WIGI; and Anisah Munim, Product Manager at NUEL.

The panel discussed why carving out a space for women and non-binary community members is key to making esports more inclusive.

About HOST

HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology, operated by IN4 Group, is an innovation hub at the heart of MediaCity. Formerly known as The Landing, it is an inclusive community of innovators in data analytics, cybersecurity, AI and immersive technology. 

With five floors of labs, R&D and prototyping environments, HOST offers specialist support, affordable workspace, training and social spaces for people and businesses to start up, scale up and connect. 

HOST is a part of Salford's Innovation Triangle, and sits alongside Salford Royal Foundation Trust, with its global innovation factory; Salford University, the fastest-growing university in the North West; and MediaCity, the media and technology destination that’s home to 250 creative and digital businesses.

Twitter: @HOSTSalford
LinkedIn: HOSTSalford
Instagram: HOST_Salford
Facebook: HOSTSalford

About IN4 Group
IN4 Group is a skills, innovation and start-up services provider that specialises in supporting businesses with the training, communities, networks, and advice they need to scale and enhance their innovation ecosystems. Its mission is to establish the UK as the place for pioneers in the fourth industrial revolution alongside its world-class industry partners with people, place and community at its core. IN4 operates HOST, MediaCity and has an office at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.

Twitter: @IN4_Group
LinkedIn: IN4 Group

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