India’s First CoE For Gaming, VFX, AI In Hyderabad
To boost the gaming, VFX industry, the Software Technology Park of India has set up IMAGE, a center of excellence (CoE) for gaming, computer vision, VFX, and AI in Hyderabad. This is the first Incubation center to focus on IP in Gaming, VFX, and Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision set up by STPI.
Spread over 10,000 Square feet, the IMAGE CoE that is part of the existing STPI facility targets to incubate up to 25-30 startups per year for the next 5 years. STPI will invest Rs 19.68 crores over five years for the CoE besides existing infrastructure in the STPI facility.
STPI-IMAGE also signed a MoU with 5 partners Hyderabad Angels, HYSEA, IIIT- Hyderabad, TVAGA (Telangana VFX, Animation and Gaming Association), and TiE Hyderabad with an objective to nurture and promote start-ups and budding entrepreneurs by offering resources like technology support, infrastructure, mentoring, like Plug and Play Incubation, Mocap, CVAI labs, and funding.
The startups will be mentored by a group of accomplished industry and academic pioneers and aided by a strong Governing Council (GC) and Project Management Group (PMG) consisting of top technology, industrialists, investors, and academicians.
This comes at a time when mobile gaming is anticipated to be a $105 billion opportunity by 2023 and outpace China that is estimated to be at $73 billion.
Applications for the CoE are open and will close on March 31, 2020, and startups will undergo various levels of evaluation before being selected. Shortlisted startups will then be assisted with a seed fund of Rs. 5 lakhs after due diligence by the PMG.
In the first year, 20 startups will be chosen and each startup will be given access to world-class infrastructure and R&D lab facilities, for development and validation of solutions from design to prototype to democratize innovation, including the newly set up Motion Capture Lab.
The Telangana VFX, Animation and Gaming Association will lend support in funding game development startups and fostering strategic partnerships between game development startups and global gaming publishers.
HYSEA will help provide seed funding, strategy guidance, market access besides helping the start-ups on matters related to Product definition.
TVAGA will be sponsoring Gamelab related resources such as cloud and advertising credits for gaming start-ups being accelerated at CoE.
Also, Hyderabad Angels will provide strategy, mentoring, and help to raise funds for the start-ups. IIIT-H: will extend technology mentoring support.
The State Government will aid in strengthening the CoE goals with industry-friendly IMAGE policies and may also consider providing grant-in-aid to meritorious startups.