Ubisoft’s latest release involves several players and focuses on innovation. It’s also been creating quite a buzz. And it’s not even a game, but a $5-million venture capital program designed for Québec entrepreneurs. The program, called Ubisoft Lumen, is intended to support the growth and development of local creative and tech startups.
A culture of collaboration
This is not the first time Ubisoft has reached out to smart entrepreneurs. The leading video game developer has been mentoring startups since 2014 as part of initiatives such as Creatives ♥ the future MTL Inc., the Ubisoft Indie Series presented by National Bank and InnoBahn, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal.
“The great thing is that those experiences are also motivating our employees and inspiring other large companies to get involved.” —Francis Baillet, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs
Of course, Ubisoft had no intention of stopping there. The studio quickly went one step further, moving from mentor to business partner. Today, Ubisoft works with over 350 local businesses on a regular basis, including 85 companies in creative and tech industries.
Regardless of whether the partnerships focus on technology or business, Ubisoft’s initiative has seen some great success stories. Take Audiokinetic, for example. The Montréal business developed a revolutionary sound engine and has experienced rapid growth since Ubisoft started using its cutting-edge technology in Assassin’s Creed. Another example in a different field is Dialogue, a small company specializing in telemedicine. Dialogue landed its first big contract with Ubisoft, a proactive customer that was quick to get involved and enhance its provider’s service offering. The result? Dialogue now serves two other Ubisoft studios, has secured new contracts with other large companies and has attracted new investors.
A boost to Montréal and Québec’s creative and tech ecosystem
When you’re starting a business, your mentors and partners are your key enablers. But if you want to go global, you may also need funding. And this is where Ubisoft Lumen comes in, giving promising local companies access to venture capital.
The $5 million that Ubisoft is contributing will be managed by White Star Capital experts. Applications have been pouring in since the program was announced on April 27, so Ubisoft will have a large pool of candidates to choose from. What do they need to qualify? “It all starts with an interview,” says Baillet.
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