Applications open for Play Labs 2018 – summer accelerator for startups using playful technologies

We are again hosting and mentoring startups as part of PlayLabs, a summer accelerator for startups using playful technologies. Applications are open until March 15!

Play Labs is a private venture run by Bayview Labs, and its executive director is Riz Virk, MIT ‘92, a successful entrepreneur in both video games and enterprise software, and angel investor in many playful companies. Play Labs is hosted by the MIT Game Lab, whose faculty and researchers will be involved hands on with startups, and will take place on the MIT Campus.

From the press release:

Startups that are accepted into Play Labs will each receive an initial investment of $20,000 in either cash or Bitcoin in return for common stock. Startups that graduate from the program and meet certain criteria will be eligible for up to $80,000 in additional funding from the Play Labs Fund and its investment partners.

Deadlines for applications are due March 15, 2018, after which time, finalists will be selected, and a subset of those finalists will be given offers to participate in the program. Applications are open to both MIT-affiliated startups, and startups with no MIT affiliation that wish to come to MIT for the summer to participate.

Play Labs provides mentoring, facilities, and funding for early stage startups that utilize “playful technology.” The areas of technology for this second batch of incubated startups include:

Digital Currency/Blockchain: The explosion of digital currencies like Bitcoin and the underlying technology, blockchain, have created a new virtual economy and opportunities for decentralizing many industries.

eSports/Video Game: Video games have moved into the competitive era, and esports is seen as one of the biggest opportunities for expansion.

VR/AR: A big focus for the first batch of incubated startups in Play Labs, now VR and AR are categories that continue to evolve and will revolutionize any industry.

Machine Learning/AI: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning software and hardware (i.e. robotics) have advanced to the point of many practical applications.

Candidate startups may apply these technology areas into any industry, including video games, esports, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and more.

More information, including the application, can be found at playlabs.tv

As Studio Manager for the MIT Game Lab, Rik Eberhardt spends his days playing Tetris: with people, boxes, tasklists, equipment, and time. When not staring at a spreadsheet trying to fit in another computer purchase, a last minute event budget, or placing undergraduate researchers on a Game Lab project, he's chipping away at spreadsheets on his DS, reproducing pixel-art in Picross and Picross 3D. His favorite moments on the job are working on projects with student workers and having fun social interactions forced on him despite his busy schedule. Contact him about research projects at the MIT Game Lab at gamelab-request@mit.edu

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