Abertay graduates win place on Microsoft business accelerator
Pixel Blimp, a company founded by recent graduates of Abertay University, has won the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for business mentoring from Microsoft Ventures.
The team started a three-month experience in London this week, receiving business advice and guidance to prepare them to pitch to investors.
Hundreds applied to the highly competitive business accelerator programme, with the Pixel Blimp team selected in the final 38 to attend a two-day pitching event and winning one of 12 slots on the final programme.
Pixel Blimp was founded by Isaac Howie Brewerton, Jordan Morris, Aidan Wilson and Nathan Brookes while studying degrees in Game Design & Production Management and Computer Games Technology at Abertay University. The company’s games include Free the Network and Wee Paper Planes.
Isaac Howie Brewerton, Creative Director of Pixel Blimp, said: “We were absolutely ecstatic to be selected for the programme, we felt we had a really strong pitch and the feedback was really strong but there was always that doubt lingering at the back of our minds between pitching and the announcement.
“After being selected and meeting the other start-ups that will be joining us it slowly started to sink in about the gravity of the opportunity of working alongside Microsoft. The whole team is incredibly excited about the next few months and we’ve all been very busy preparing for it!”
The two-day event involved expert talks and workshops, building up to a three-minute pitching session in front of a panel of 15 judges, consisting of industry professionals and senior Microsoft staff.
Isaac added: “A lot of what we do as a team is largely due to the opportunities that have been given thanks to the unique relationship Abertay has with the games industry, as well as the focus on business and entrepreneurial content that is taught across the Game Design & Production Management course.
“We also owe a lot of our success to the amazing support we’ve received from our mentors Dr Iain Donald and Dr Dayna Galloway here at Abertay, who have been incredibly supportive of the team’s work and have helped mature us into a strong independent studio over the last three years.“
Dr Dayna Galloway said: “The success of a graduate company like Pixel Blimp is a real testament to the quality of our degree programmes which encourage our students to apply their creative and technical skills in an entrepreneurial context.
"The Microsoft Ventures programme is a fantastic opportunity for the Pixel Blimp team to fully emerge as a professional development studio and continue to excite audiences with their innovative and visually striking games."
Microsoft Ventures UK is the global company's venture capital arm, and it hosts a 14-week accelerator programme twice a year to give emerging companies the benefit of its enormous experience.
The programme focuses on turning start-up companies into profitable businesses, with office space, workshops, mentoring, Xbox One development advice, and access to Microsoft's computing resources.
For more information about the company and its games, please visit the Pixel Blimp website.
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