REACTOR, a partnership of the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County, the Washington Interactive network, Detonator Games, and the City of Redmond, set up shop in Redmond last month, bringing its guild model of development to the Eastside. It functions as an accelerator for interactive media, especially games, with the goal of mentoring and assisting startups in getting through the crucial first six months. The aim is to both capitalise on Redmond’s location as a center of the gaming industry in Washington and to encourage startups to develop there, by creating solid foundations for applicants accepted to the program.
The model that REACTOR uses is a guild-style model, a first-of-its-kind approach to developing startups whereby the participants, whether veterans of the startup scene mentoring newcomers or independents looking to grow or anyone else in the classes, function as a network of contacts and assistance more than anything else. There is a high value placed on collaborative work, and less of a focus on competition than might be expected.
Launched in Seattle in December of 2012, REACTOR’s Alpha class has launched, and the Beta class is now in residence. The participants range from a family-friendly game developer that doesn’t want to make anything with guns because there are enough of those to a group building a collaborative system for planning and pitching films of all stripes.
REACTOR is funded by a grant obtained by the EDC, from the Small Business Administration, the Economic Development Administration, and the Department of Labor’s Education and Training Administration.