The investment fund run by University of Abertay Dundee for launching new computer game and digital media businesses Tuesday 12th April announced its first successful applications, which range from a Facebook game to a PC tool for game developers.
Following a tough industry assessment process, 57 applications from across the UK were whittled down to six successful projects which demonstrated exceptional business potential.
The companies benefiting from the first round of funding are: 14 Principles, Bookmarked Games, Dry Ice Studios, FluffyLogic, Setgo and Triple B Games.
All now receive £25,000, as well as business development support and access to the Prototype Fund's ÔÇÿtalent pool' of skilled students and graduates.
Budding digital entrepreneurs are also being strongly encouraged to apply for the second round of funding, which closes on Friday 29th April. All information about applying is available at http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/
Jeremiah Alexander of Bookmarked Games, which aims to help childhood development through imaginative play, said: "Abertay University's investment fund has made a critical difference. It means we can develop the game prototype to a point where we're in a much stronger position to secure further investment, negotiate a better deal for our company and our staff, and to maintain the vision for what we want our game to bring to children and their families.
"The fund also looks set to be a great launch pad for talented graduates to develop their skills and keep them in the UK. This is vital for the future of the country's games industry. We're taking on four graduates through the fund and so are fully committed to ensuring this project helps launch their careers in this sector."
Ana Kronschnabl of FluffyLogic, which is produced a social game based on growing, feeding and breeding animals in your own zoo, added: "We are really looking forward to having the chance to develop our own intellectual property.
"We believe ÔÇÿUr Zoo' will enable us to involve our fan-base in a way previously not possible, as well as allowing players to create some of the most unbelievable species so far undiscovered by mankind!"
Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said: "There has been a very high level of interest in the Prototype Fund and the project has already been cited as an excellent example of targeted support in the recent Scottish Affairs Committee report on the games industry.
"As well as allowing young companies the opportunity to develop a working prototype to secure further investment, the fund will also provide a fantastic opportunity for students and graduates to develop their skills by working on the successful projects."
He added: "However, we still recognise there are many challenges facing games development start-ups, particularly with self-funded operations which may not have sufficient working capital to apply in the first place.
"We are continuing to work on a follow-on investment fund and are making good progress with that, as well as looking at ways to provide support to graduate start-up businesses pre-application."
Independent commercial analysis of the short-listed applications was conducted by Games Investor Consulting, an independent games research and strategy consulting business with over 15 years' industry experience.
Nick Gibson, founder and Director of Games Investor Consulting, said: "All investment decisions require a serious level of expert scrutiny to fully assess the chances of business success.
"Games industry entrepreneurs face tough challenges throughout every step of their projects' lives. Abertay University's Prototype Fund has therefore sought to evaluate not only the quality of the prototype proposals but also their long-term commercial potential as finished products and launched services."
He added: "The first round of funding produced a broad array of prototype proposals. We want to receive an even broader array for the second round and encourage new applicants to be bold and innovative, to think seriously about future technologies and market trends, and not simply propose their version of Angry Birds or CityVille.
"This industry is in a perpetual state of flux driven by a constant flow of innovation and new ideas. Abertay University's Prototype Fund is a fantastic opportunity for developers to try out new games product and service ideas that anticipate future market demand, or even look to create new niche markets that no one else has yet considered."
The Abertay University Prototype Fund is financially backed by three partners: the European Regional Development Fund, the UK Government (administered by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), and Abertay University.
The fund is based at Abertay University and is open to applications from new and young small and medium-sized enterprises across Britain.