Setting up your own game studio can be pretty scary. Most people start off with a loan at the bank, but luckily many other organizations offer support, both financial and strategic.
Here are 3 useful tips that will help you get the ball rolling more easily:
- Join an acceleration program: in exchange for shares you will receive coaching on a wide range of topics that every business has to deal with sooner or later (e.g. financial, legal and recruitment). You will also receive guidance on marketing, sales, pricing, etc. Accelerator programs usually take three to six months. Co. Station BXL (co-founded by BNP Paribas Fortis and Socialcom, backed by Mobistar and USG People) is a great acceleration program offering infrastructure, training and guidance.
- Set up your offices in an incubator: this is a place where promising startups share physical spaces to minimise rental fees (as low as €100 per month) and stimulate cross-pollination. Incubator programs usually run for a period of up to one year. There are high-quality incubators all around Belgium, but the KBC Startit website is a great place to start your search. KBC Startit has beautiful incubators in Ghent, Louvain, Antwerp, Brussels and Hasselt. A new one just recently opened in Kortrijk.
- Seek the support of a business angel: this kind of investor mostly offers financial support (usually between €25,000 and €250,000) to young companies, but the startups can also rely on the advice, experience and professional network of the business angel. In exchange for the investment, the business angel usually receives a percentage of the earnings, depending on the risk of the startup. Business Angels Network Vlaanderen is a wonderful digital platform that helps entrepreneurs find investors and vice versa.
Apart from these three vital tips, FLEGA also recommends that you pay a visit to the Startups.be website. It’s the one-stop-shop for Belgian technology startups. It brings together more than 75 organizations that assist startups through coaching and mentoring, incubation and acceleration, networking and concrete investments. For instance, the Belgian Pavilion at gamescom 2015 would have never been possible without the most appreciated support of Startups.be.
To round things up: starting up your own company might be demanding sometimes, but at least you won’t have to go at it all alone. Good luck!