Speeding to success: Business accelerator YetiZen reveals its latest round of hot start-ups
Soaking up the San Francisco scene
There's Gamefounders in Estonia, Execution Labs in Montreal, Canada, and Right Pedal Studios in Brisbane, Australia.
The best positioned and most established, however, is San Francisco-based YetiZen.
It passed its first round of companies in July 2011, and the latest round is about ready to take their experience into the real-world.
All fired up
The accelerator has two three-month rounds per year, and has a global input of companies.
Currently examples include outfits from Colombia, Poland, India and Israel.
YetiZen also allows start ups to use its downtown studio, as well as running industry events in the space.
So, while I was over for Google I/O, I took the opportunity to have a quick chat with some of the companies.
(Apologises for the somewhat gloomy lighting!)
First up, was YetiZen CEO Sana Choudary, who explained what the accelerator was about. (Hint: it's not an incubator. This is an important difference.)
Trevor Blum is from Mesh Gifts. It's an online platform that will allow anyone to gift virtual goods, initially in browser games, but hopefully in mobile games too.
Luis Ernesto Parra is CEO of Colombian/US developer Press Start. Its next game Drive Me Bananas is being released by Chillingo.
Tzvi Kopetz is COO of Israeli monetisation company Applicasa. With an office in San Francisco, it's already being used by Russian publisher Alawar amongst others, it enables on-the-fly segmentation and targeted promotions to maximise each player's life time value.
It's funded by the founders of 888.com, the third largest online gambling company.
Playnomi is a US-based start up that's looking to get into the soft money casino genre. Its first game Scratchers is currently being tested in Australia.
Nikhil Soman is CEO of Playblazer, an Indian backend-as-a-service social and multiplayer gaming outfit, which is being used in five titles, including the multiplayer mobile version of Dreamworks' film IP game Real Steel.
You can find out more about YetiZen's current crop of companies here.