Recap on spring term 2021 – What happened and what will happen next?
There is a strong belief that the pandemic is under a certain control, and the possibilities to meet and enjoy life in a different way will come once again. However, we need to be realistic; the old normal will not return; a new normal will appear and teach us new ways of doing business and negotiations. The digital environment has been growing dramatically, and new tools to communicate and project management has been increased. At some point, the variety of new tools was partly overwhelming, as we did not have other options as to have our accelerator program completely online; we needed to react. Gaming is strongly involved in the tool named DISCORD; that was also the good reason why we selected that tools. As gamers are familiar with the tool, it helped us be safe sometimes, and we could basically start straight up.
We had great support from the team around Pocket Gamers Connect; one of their DISCORD wizard Sally Kevan helped us out dramatically to have a good server and a good structure.
The Kickoff in March (25.3.-28.3.2021) was a great success; a good range of participants joined to get insights into the game business development. Baltic Explorers offers full support to in-game business development issues and will boost gaming companies to catch needed deals to succeed in the business. Most game developers have strong knowledge and skills in creating the game, finding a solution to all technical matters, but mostly the game business side might not catch up decently enough.
According to Investopedia.com (2021), ”The game industry has always been about innovation. New technology, new controls, and new experiences are to be expected. As the world moves more and more to time spent on their mobile phones, streaming services and mobile phone game playing will become an important arena for revenues. Large tech companies will look to leverage their current framework to get involved.”
With Baltic Explorers, we strongly believe that we are in the right direction, and we are supporting our teams with decent insights into the gaming.biz industry.
Supporting companies to grow and to catch the deal
In our BE BIG program, we have approx 50 gaming companies involved; our Discord server has already grown into a community of 130 active participants. Our programs have a good variation of everything, board games, video games, console games, mobile games, VR games, and serious games. The level of our teams are different; we have so-called one-band teams with us, and the task will be to connect them to the right team members. We have been less selective for the first batch as we wanted to figure out first how many are interested in our approach.
Our direction is to catch valuable investment or publishing deals during autumn 2021 and the year 2022. In which we hope to participate in on-site events in the US or Asia. For that reason, we will be more selective in Autumn; only those who improved and obviously grew during our program will catch tickets for such opportunities. This will be a competition and also the first challenges of some younger teams; we want to emphasize and support their abilities to make it happen, we are not stopping supporting those which might not yet ready, the opposite, we believe that those will be the next generation and they will get our full attention.
Thanks to Insanto Game Studio from Sweden for this wonderful picture of their bright future with Baltic Explorers. Those are examples of our teams that already appreciate the value we provide for their company.
The program has teams from Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia, with different targets and goals. With our mentoring program, we hope to fulfil all their needs and demands.
How the mentoring ”BE BIG” mentoring program works?
The whole mentoring program runs throughout DISCORD; all the communication and meetings are held on the server. Discord have different function such as chat rooms and also video calls possibilities. Each team has its OWN PRIVATE, confidential channels – to which only certain people have access. They should introduce their company and their games for mentors and staff members to check out and leave comments for improvement. Their channel is also available for more detailed communication with mentors.
BE BIG community also has more open channels; those are great for open conversation with everybody and if you need certain help with difficult challenges. For that reason, we opened a decent peer2peer support for game development – here, teams can post questions and receive help from mentors or staff members and other teams. Very often, challenges will get a completely new viewpoint and even solved. Another feature of our server is the LAW CORNER – many of our teams have difficulties with these questions. When we are heading towards the autumn – trade show season, many of our teams need to have agreements in order and also have a certain understanding of how it works.
When choosing your valuable mentor in need, the system is easy; we asked all mentors to develop a profile with their expertise and what they could support our teams with. Based on this introduction, teams have the possibility to choose from over 15 mentors, which will be the most valuable for their teams.
With a booking system, the teams can set up their mentoring sessions completely on their own, according to their schedule and the available time-slots that mentors have been offering us. As soon as they had the first sessions, they also can choose one mentor to be their permanent adviser. With this solution, we can improve their growth and make them decent ready for the market; we also have specialists in, e.g. pitching in our program. These skills are essential, and during autumn, we will focus strongly on this approach.
Reality is laying on self-learning and self-improvement.
All partners in the Baltic Explorers project are aware that not all teams will get the most out of our program; some of them would need more or less support. However, as the program is very much self-learning, we also want to see the motivation and commitment teams have. Therefore, mentors have intituled not to so-called ”SUGAR-COAT” any advice or opinions they give; they can be realistic, honest, and decently critical for our teams. Prepare them for the most horrible but exciting challenge; the gaming industry is one of the fastest-growing ones, and up to 1000 games/day are flowing the market.
The competition is dangerous and very tough, so we emphasize that we want to make our teams aware of it. By telling the truth, we are not keen on destroying dreams or crashing hopes; we want to transfer them into reality. Therefore, bringing them most definitely out of their comfort zone and being ready for their life’s pitch is partly what we offer, besides lots of courage that we demand. So when it comes to the selection process, we will evaluate commitment, motivation, and process and evaluate if they are really ready; we will select very carefully which platform will be suitable for them to shine and succeed.
We are looking into an inspiring upcoming autumn 2021 – new mentors will join us – new viewpoints and new challenges with the main goal to succeed and have a new venture ahead.
Baltic Explorers and its team wishing everybody
and see you on stage