GameBiz Lab – Business of video games program

GameBiz Lab is bringing education and consulting around the business side of video games to Manitoba’s video game community.

Why GameBiz Lab?

For new and aspiring video game studio owners: Apply to be part of a cohort that gets priority access to consultations with industry experts, the ability to book NMM’s space, monthly coworking sessions, and more.

For expert speakers: Meet with an engaged video game community in person in Manitoba, Canada while sharing about your expertise on business of video games topics

For anyone interested the business of video games: Meet with other like-minded Manitobans for in-person talks by industry experts and ask your burning questions.

Continuation of the GameBiz Lab – GameBiz Lab Cohort Program Launch

Apply for the extended program starting September 2024.

Steps to apply for the GameBiz Lab Cohort:

  1. Download the application form
  2. Please fill it out by Friday, July 19th, 2024
  3. Please send it to Corinne Gusnoski for review [email protected]
  4. Await the response in the next weeks

Join the Cohort

Completed Workshops:

Pierre Moisan is a pioneer in the Canadian interactive entertainment industry, a seasoned manager and entrepreneur, Pierre Moisan has developed, over his twenty-five years in business, a sought after expertise before joining the CEIM team in 2015.

He acted as Vice-President of Megatoon (Behavior), CEO and founder of ArtMedia Studios and producer at Ubisoft. For nine years, he was also Vice-President, Corporate Strategy at Frima which has become Canada’s largest independent studio.

Pierre Moisan has built a large network of contacts around the world, particularly in the field of new media and video games. Over the past few years, he has organized several trade missions abroad (North America, Europe, Asia, etc.).

He chairs the Board of Directors of the Center for Development and Research in Digital Intelligence (CDRIN).

Pierre Moisan holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Université Laval (Université de Montpellier 1, fellow of the French Republic) as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Law, also from Université Laval (Dalhousie University, fellow of the Government of Canada).

Astrid is the Community Director at Saber Interactive, heading up the social media and community team working on games like Jurassic Park: Survival, Insurgency: Sandstorm, Teardown, Wild Card Football, and World War Z: Aftermath.

Previously, she has worked at studios New World Interactive, Rogue Factor, and Hololabs, as well as at the agency Evolve PR, indie studio accelerator Execution Labs, and trade association Interactive Ontario.

Sarah has been in the video game and tech industry for about a decade, working in different areas such as marketing and production. With an educational background in business, she fell in love with project management and decided to pivot careers.

Currently, Sarah is the Live Ops Senior Producer for Age of Empires 4 and has worked on titles such as FIFA 21 and Homeworld 3.

Kellen Voyer is a US and Canadian lawyer and founder of Voyer Law, a boutique law firm focused on advising video game studios on legal matters from a cross-border perspective. Kellen is active within the video game community in Canada and the US and represents over 100 studios and publishers across North America, the UK and Europe. Kellen has a passion for video game publishing agreements and levelling the playing field between publishers and developers, with his latest work being videogamepublishing.com, a crowd-sourced, data focused website aggregating data on publishing agreements. He has been quoted in articles on PCGamer, Gamesindustry.biz, Bloomberg and more.

Sasha Boersma is a 20-year veteran of funding and budgeting for digital content in Canada. As Co-Founder/Producer at Sticky Brain Studios, she leads business affairs, including human resources, accounting, and funding proposals. She applies her lived and professional experience with diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility advocacy to every aspect of her work, including user experience design, marketing, teaching, and business strategy. Sasha is an ambassador for Women in Games and a member of the Board of the Disability Screen Office, a national, not-for-profit that works with the Canadian screen industry to foster authentic and meaningful representation. Sasha also works as contract faculty at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre, where she has developed and taught post- graduate-level business courses for creatives in film, television, and interactive digital media.

Jennifer McIlroy has been training professionals, students, and colleagues for over 25 years. Owner of “The Managers’ Mentor”, and The Deployability Index ® she works with clients in the interactive media, financial services, government, and cultural not-for-profit industries as leaders at all levels seek to optimize their effectiveness and operations acumen. In addition, she is a professor of Project Management and Business Strategy in Interactive Media at Centennial College and Sheridan College in Ontario, and lead the Centre of Entrepreneurship at Centennial College where she worked specifically with over 250 small and startup businesses as they formulated their business plans and launched their dream projects.

Jennifer works closely with Interactive Ontario members to help them hone and strengthen their business pitches and is sought after by small business associations across Ontario, BC and Quebec to provide mentorship and guidance on problem-solving and business planning. Her early career started in Ottawa in municipal politics and grew through social marketing and strategic communications for Interbrand, Canada Life, and Scotiabank International among others. She is currently working on her Masters of Distance Education and lives in Toronto.

MIDMTC and SBVCTC

The Manitoba Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (MIDMTC) is a refundable corporate tax credit designed to help stimulate economic growth and job creation in Manitoba’s interactive digital media industry and attract new investment to the sector. The MIDMTC provides up to a 40% credit to businesses on qualified labour expenditures, and some marketing and distribution expenses, incurred in the development of eligible interactive digital media products for market.

The Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit (SBVCTC) provides a non-refundable Manitoba tax credit of up to 45% to individuals and corporations who acquire equity capital in eligible Manitoba enterprises. The program targets Manitoba companies that want to raise equity from higher net worth individuals, with a minimum investment of $10,000 per investor.

Mark Smith has been a professional game developer for 15 years and has experience working in AR, VR, Web3, and game console ports. As CEO and Co-Founder of Bacon Bandit Games, he’s designed and developed several titles that have over 10 million installs combined. Mark has been coding for over 30 years in many languages from COBOL, RPG/RPGLE, and Assembly, all the way to newer languages like TypeScript and Rust. He has given talks and attended career fairs at many high schools to help students that are thinking of pursuing a career in game development, and has mentored several game developers on game development, game design, and business. Mark wrote an NES emulator in the C programming language for fun and was able to play through several games on it including Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros.

Speakers: Manitoban Delegation for GDC 2024

Hear from 5 video game industry leaders:

  • Noah Decter-Jackson, Head of Studio and Games Director at Complex Games
  • Khal Shariff, CEO and Creative Lead at Project Whitecard
  • John Luxford, CEO of Flipside XR
  • Kyle Schmitz, Founder, Game Designer, and Developer of Teenage Astronauts
  • Diana Olynick, Studio Director for M4 Method

Moderated by Corinne Gusnoski, Business Development Manager at New Media Manitoba.

Pictures from Recent Events

Moreover, we are looking for speakers with expertise in the following topics:

  • Creation and structuring of a business
  • Development planning / project management
  • Budgeting / financing / accounting
  • Funding sources and supplemental income (contract work, crowdfunding)
  • Successfully applying for CMF
  • Attending and promoting at video game conferences
  • Team management and hiring (employment standards)
  • Marketing, public relations, and building a community
  • Launching on different platforms
  • App Store Optimization 
  • Pitching
  • Legal

At GameBiz Lab, we are supporting the next generation of local video game studios.

Join us and be part of the future of game development in Manitoba!

GameBiz Lab is supported by:
New Media Manitoba