New VR/AR Incubator by Nordisk Film and Japanese game company Gumi Inc. is coming along fast – Nordic VR developers are called upon to apply


Nordic top-level know-how in gaming and VR has not gone unnoticed on the world stage. gumi Inc. and Nordisk Film presented their new incubator program, Nordic VR Startups (NVS), last week in Helsinki, at tech events of Arctic 15 and X Reality Day. The initial investment in the program is worth two million euros.

At the end of March 2017, Tokyo Stock Exchange listed, Japanese game publisher gumi Inc. and Nordisk Film announced that they will establish an incubator program, Nordic VR Startups, open for Nordic startups in VR/AR. The aim is to find promising startups specialized in VR/AR, offer them financing and support in reaching global markets.

Says Hironao Kunimitsu, CEO of gumi Inc.: “The Nordic region brings tremendous creative and engineering talent to the gaming and film industries, and we’re focused on enabling this pool of talent to grow in the VR market with our available resources and expertise. We’ve already experienced great success with our Tokyo VR Startups program in the East, and by working with the accomplished Nordisk Film group, we’ll be able to expand our program further into Europe.

Joint venture partner Suman Rath, Senior Vice President of Nordisk Film: “By bringing together our strong Nordic entertainment expertise and gumi’s experience in successfully operating VR accelerators, we hope to take aspiring Nordic VR companies to the next level. Our partnership will offer the rising startups in this field a robust set of resources. We believe that Nordic VR Startups can help develop the Nordic VR ecosystem and propel the local VR industry in the coming years.

Application available now, Program Manager appointed

Since its announcement, Nordic VR Startups is coming along fast. Acting directors are gumi Inc.'s Hironao Kunimitsu, investor and serial entrepreneur Harri Manninen as well as Nordisk Film's Senior Vice President and Playstation executive Suman Rath. Jenni Ahlapuro, former Head of Communications at Umbra, was appointed on May 2nd as the Program Manager.

Nordic VR Startups participated in the startup event Arctic 15 in Helsinki, in May 3rd–4th, as well as X Reality Day on May 5th, presenting the incubator program and meet up with stakeholders, partners and Nordic VR/AR developers.

The application form for the Nordic VR Startups program can be found at http://nordicvrstartups.com. Time to apply is all through May. The program will commence during the summer targeting at the Demo Day at Slush 2017, where the selected companies will pitch their concepts to enter the international scene.

Nordic VR Startups invests, mentors and helps to enter the global markets

Companies chosen to the Nordic VR Startups will be supported with dedicated seed funding up to 100,000€, workspaces, and back-office services. Additionally, the companies will benefit from experienced mentors including NF Games' Martin Walfisz, Supercell's Mikko Kodisoja, Slush's Peter Vesterbacka, Umbra's Sampo Lappalainen and Chet Faliszek, who was responsible for Steam VR projects at Valve – among many others.

About gumi Inc. 

Founded in 2007, gumi Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 3903) is a leading global mobile game publisher and developer headquartered in Japan, with overseas operations in France, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. The company has proven success in launching titles worldwide, such as the widely popular role-playing games Brave Frontier and Phantom of the Kill. With ongoing publishing and development projects on various platforms, including iOS, Android, and more, gumi aims to change the world through innovative entertainment products and services, including both original content and collaborations with popular IP. For more information, please visit http://www.gu3.co.jp/en/ .

About Nordisk Film

Founded in 1906, Nordisk Film is the leading producer and distributor of films in the Nordic countries and operates the largest cinema chains in Denmark and Norway. Nordisk Film has digital businesses within gift cards, ticketing services, computer games development and eSports and is the distributor of PlayStation in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Nordisk Film is part of Egmont – Denmark’s largest media group with 6,200 employees and activities in 30 countries. These include Egmont Publishing, which publishes more than 700 magazines, TV 2 in Norway and several book publishers. Egmont is a commercial foundation that generates revenue amounting to EUR 1.6 billion and donate more than EUR 13 million a year to help improve the lives of children and young people.