With the rise of VR/AR and gaming design, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has formalized a commitment to help steer alumni to create commercially viable digital products. Enter SCAD+, the university’s first entrepreneurial program.
SCAD+ participants will receive a stipend along with living space, a work studio, and mentor resources to get their products market-ready in 12 months.
“The launch of SCAD+ directly addresses that demand with the resources and creative support to help our alumni innovators and entrepreneurs succeed,” says Scott Brown, Creative Director at SCAD’s Collaborative Learning Center. “The goal is that by demo day, each team is prepared to take their digital product to market.”
SCAD+ received hundreds of applications and eight alumni were selected to undergo the program. The three teams have a focus on gaming, VR, AR, and mobile experiences.
“We recognize that video games comprise a $75 billion global industry, and there’s no sign of this growth slowing thanks to new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality,” says Brown.
SCAD has been a pioneer in the alternate realities industry for the last few years. In 2015, the university introduced the first VR experience in acceptance letter packages, including Google VR goggles for students to virtually tour all four SCAD campuses. Most recently, students from 14 different programs collaborated and released the world’s first VR musical short film, Say It With Music.
The SCAD+ program is one more step into cementing the university’s presence in the industry.
During the program, the teams are provided with resources for developing a business plan and setting up a corporate entity, as well as access to the latest technologies for product development.
“We are thrilled with the caliber of the projects that are a part of the inaugural year of SCAD+,” says Brown. ‘The ideas themselves are incredibly creative, and we’re thrilled with how the teams are applying new technologies to take their projects to the next level.”
The inaugural 2017-18 cohort of SCAD+ projects includes:
- Battery Jam — A two-to-four-person multiplayer combat game where gamers push, pull, stun and knock players into lethal traps around an arena.
- TSA Frisky — Players become TSA agents to earn “employee of the month” honors. No bag or person can be left unchecked and flights must remain on schedule.
- Manifest — A hands-free god simulator, this game allows players to make decisions that affect the growth of emerging ancient civilizations. (initially built for Android devices)
At next year’s demo day, each team will present their project in front of investors to potentially fund their products.
“After launch, we’re confident that the project teams will be well prepared to not only nurture and grow their initial digital products, but also continue to develop new concepts moving forward,” says Brown.
In the future, the SCAD+ program hopes to expand into other focus areas to help more alumni entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life.
Photos courtesy of Savannah College of Art and Design