The_ReactorIt’s been nearly two years since Washington Interactive Network landed a $1.2 million grant for what’s now called the Reactor, also known as an “Interactive Media Industry Accelerator.”

The incubator just graduated its first class in May, and now, a fresh new group of startups is ready to take it their ideas to another level inside the Reactor offices near the Seattle waterfront.

The teams will spend the next six months receiving mentorship and coaching from the Reactor mentors like Bungie’s Pete Parsons and Z2Live’s Lou Fasulo while coexisting in the same office.

The Reactor is a unique accelerator in that it does not fund or take equity in the companies. Chip Hallett, head of studio at Reactor, said that may change in the future, but that it’s “very special now because it’s all community-based.”

The Reactor was structured only around gaming when it first started, but then the incubator pivoted slightly and decided to add mobile to the mix. That showed with the Alpha Class, as two of the companies were focused on something other than games.

8bitmmo
Robby Zinchak won first place at the Seattle Independent Game Competition for his work on 8bitMMO.

“We had a lot of disucssions with some of the larger players in the area and found out the place that was really blowing up was mobile,” Hallett said.

Here’s the lowdown on each of the seven companies, a few of which we’ve already written about in GeekWire:

8bitMMO — This 8-bit construction sandbox massive multiplayer game was developed solo by former Microsoft producer Robby Zinchak, who won first place at the Seattle Independent Game Competition for his work. Zinchak’s game allows players to build homes and castles, manage cities and engage in player vs. player battle all in massive 8-bit world.

Accelerated Pictures — This company offers a quick and collaborative way for video producers to plan and pitch films, ads, and corporate videos before heading out to the set.

Cascade Game Foundry — This independent game development studio formed two years ago by a small group of veterans of Microsoft’s Aces Studio 

Infinite Scuba is Cascade Game Foundry's first title.
Infinite Scuba is Cascade Game Foundry’s first title.

who previously worked on the Flight and Train sims. As a startup, they’ve had a completely different experience from their former big-company careers and just launched their first title, Infinite Scuba.  CGF was founded by Kathie Flood, former Train Sim lead program manager, and Rick Selby, a former lead game designer on Microsoft Train Simulator 2.

Evolution Controllers — Evolution Controllers is building Bluetooth-enabled game controllers specifically made for tablets and smartphones.

litesprite1Litesprite — Litesprite wants to help people overcome medical issues with video games. The startup’s first-ever game helps people with anxiety and depression. As players make their way through the game, their progress can be tracked, rewarded and monitored by clinicians and caregivers to help them better understand what the patient is feeling. Litesprite is led by CEO Swatee Surve, who’s worked at places like Premera Blue Cross, T-Mobile, Microsoft, Nike and Eastman Kodak, mainly focusing on the intersection between medicine and technology.

Studio Pepwuper — This company is creating family-friendly titles for the parents who want their kids playing games without guns or violence. Its focus is on games for entertainment, education and change.

Wire Labs – We just wrote about Wire Labs raising $150,000 last month. The startup is doing something around mobile and messaging, but we don’t know much more. Wire Labs is run by former Amazon and Microsoft engineers.

Comments

  • Erik
  • KyleKesterson

    Even though we’re only a few weeks into the new class here, the teams are already quite impressive with where they are at. Big props to the REACTOR team for curating some quality entrepreneurs along with the frequency and caliber of community accessible speaking events that are helping shape direction and provide clarity to some of the hardest topics of starting.

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